American Carson Jones served up a pre-fight shock for Blackpool’s Brian Rose ahead of their showdown at the Winter Gardens tonight.
As the boxers sized each other up at the pre-fight weigh-in, Rose observed Jones and said: “I am towering over him. I can’t believe the size difference.
“I knew he would be smaller than me but I didn’t realise how much smaller. I think I have seen him in better shape as well.
“I am positive about everything. Nothing that I have seen at the weigh-in has fazed me. I am going to use my height and reach to the best advantage.”
The pair will fight for the World Boxing Council’s International light-middleweight title on what should be a frenzied and exciting fight night – one of the best ever in the resort – with the added attraction of Prizefighter middleweight, featuring local favourite Jack Arnfield, a stablemate of Rose.
The size of the occasion is not lost on Rose. After stepping off the scales, he said: “I have just realised how big it is going to be with all the people who were at the weigh-in at G Casino (on South Shore).
Rose added: “I have never had a weigh-in press conference like this.
“I just want to thank all the Blackpool people for coming here to support me, even at the weigh-in.
“I have appreciated all their support throughout my career, especially this one because it is the biggest fight of my career, including the world title (a fight he lost to Demetrius Andrade last summer) because it is my comeback trail.
“I’ve made the weight and that’s the hardest thing about boxing
“On Saturday night I just have to do what I do best – keep it at long range, using my jab.
“If the big shots come, they come. If they don’t, then I am prepared to do the 12 rounds with him.”
Rose is not really noted for punch power but he says a change in his training routine has altered that.
He explained: “I have done a lot of weights, a full 12-week camp. That will be a big advantage.”
In his last fight in Leeds, Rose blew out Ignacio Fraga inside a round, stopping the Argentinian with some concussive shots.
Rose said: “I know that was not the best opposition but it showed I had more punch power.
“It has developed more since then, so we will see on Saturday night just how much it has developed. A win will bring me (another) world title shot, I am sure.
“It won’t go wrong - it’s my 30th birthday on Sunday, it’s my 30th fight and I am promising you a win.”
Rose was nine ounces inside the 11-stone limit as was Jones. And if Jones appearance shocked Jones, the American says he is ready to serve up a different type of shock.
The 28-year-old from Oklahoma warned: “I don’t know much about Rose. He is basic and has a decent jab, but I will capitalise on all his faults.
“ I know what I have to do and I am ready to do it. I have trained hard for this fight. Rose does not have the experience I have and I can take that into tonight’s fight.”
Jones retired after his second loss in Sheffield to subsequent world champion Kell Brook, but he says that is the furthest thing from his mind.
Jones, who has campaigned primarily at welter and is stepping up to light-middle, said: “I lacked motivation and it was as if I didn’t care any more, but I took some time off and I am ready to fight again.”