Blackpool’s boxing pride Brian Rose picked up another title at the Winter Gardens - but is prepared to surrender another.
Rose intends to continue his rise up to world level but that will mean giving up the British light-middleweight title.
He revealed the intention – on the advice of promoter Eddie Hearn – after winning the World Boxing Organisation inter-continental belt, stopping Canadian-based Joachim Alcine 59 seconds into the 12th round at the Blackpool venue.
Rose trapped Alcine in a neutral corner, unleashing a flurry of punches which rocked his opponent.
Referee Richie Davies had seen enough to stop it. Alcine said afterwards he could have continued but better to stop a fight too soon than too late.
Up to that point it had been very close. If it had gone to the cards, there would have been only one or two rounds in it.
Rose led in the fight up to the stoppage but only by a fine margin. His finish was clinical and he had had Alcine in trouble in the 11th but Rose too experienced strife.
Alcine, still a canny, seasoned operator with many of the skills, that took him to a WBA world title, intact, produced the punch of the night, a venomous right-hand uppercut in the ninth which shook Rose to his boots.
It would have floored many a man but Rose took it and soldiered on.
Rose said afterwards: “I felt in control all the way apart from getting caught with that silly uppercut and I had to collect myself. “I have not felt like that since I was chinned by Max Maxwell.
“I conserved a bit of energy but I need to get out of that habit if I want to take it to world level, which I still think I am capable of.
“I know my trainer Bobby Rimmer will give me as kick up the backside and I will learn.
“I need to get the killer instinct, like I did against Alcine in the last round.
“I am still improving and still young, 28. This was my first shot at world level. I got a world-class operator out there and stopped him but I took my time doing it.
“I thought I was eight or nine rounds in front, but I was told afterwards some people had it by one or two.
“I do need to do more the next time I fight but it is the win that counts. I have now made that extra step. To beat someone like Alcine was a great confidence booster because I don’t stop many.”
As for his British title, Rose said: “It looks like I will be giving it up because I want to step up and maybe defend this.
“Everyone wants big fights and that is my realistic goal. I have beaten everyone there is to beat in Britain
“Alcine had all the little tricks but the only way he could beat me was to knock me out. If I could do it all again, I would have put the pressure on him earlier than I did.”
Alcine said: “I don’t take anything away from Rose but the referee stopped the fight a little bit too early
“I got hit a lot behind the head. I thought the referee would do something about it but he just kept telling me to be quiet.
“It seems I was not fighting one guy in the ring but two. The referee was not professional. I thought I was two points in front of him going into the 12th.”