Blackpool boxer Brian Rose is seriously contemplating a step-up to middleweight as he bids to revive his career in the wake of his devastating defeat inside a round at the hands of Carson Jones.
Rose admitted he endured a debilitating struggle to make the 11-stone weight for the clash with American Jones at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool last month.
He is no longer pushing for a rematch with Jones and is ready to campaign at middleweight.
Rose, who won the light-middleweight Lonsdale Belt on the back of three straight defences, told The Gazette: “If I do move up to middleweight, I just see it as a new chapter in my career.
“I proved myself the best light-middleweight in Great Britain and I can prove that at middleweight.
“I believe I will be a lot stronger at the higher weight and I will punch harder.”
Rose has been suffering from shingles since the Jones loss and puts that down in part to the rigours of trying to make the weight for his World Boxing Organisation international title fight.
He said: “Trying to get those last four or five pounds off for the Jones fight I found really tough. It was just ridiculous.
“I still thought the referee, Ian John-Lewis, stopped the fight too soon and made a rush decision, but I didn’t feel right in that first round.
“Although I did well early on, I felt the round was going on for six or seven minutes rather than three.
“I felt ill after the fight and got shingles, which I put down to trying to make the weight. It seems to be clearing up now.”
Rose, 30, said the Jones defeat and the accompanying problems have led him to re-assess his priorities.
He said: “I still believe I can come back. On the night of the Jones fight, (promoter) Eddie Hearn said I should consider stepping up to middleweight.
“Kerry Kayes (nutritionist) has been telling me for two years that I should make the step-up and that I will punch harder.”
To underline the seriousness of his intent, Rose says he is planning to make the journey to the United States to train.
He said: “I am planning to spend six weeks at the Wild Card Gym (in Hollywood), where I can get world-class sparring, which I have not been able to get over here.”
Rose, who could be back in the ring in May, insisted: “I want to give it one last push. Things move on and I have different priorities.
“I don’t want the very big fights I can’t win, but I want to make enough money to provide for my family.”