Blackpool’s Brian Rose insists he isn’t contemplating retirement going into his hotly-anticipated Lancashire showdown with Scott Fitzgerald.
The 34-year-old accepts he’s in the final throes of his career, but despite that he remains confident of inflicting Fitzgerald’s first defeat when the two take to the ring in Manchester on Saturday, July 6.
Were Rose to claim the Preston fighter’s WBA ranking title, challenging for a world title for the second time is what he will set his eyes on next.
“I take it one step at a time, but I’ve got a totally different mindset now,” he told The Gazette.
“I used to say ‘if I lose this fight I’ll retire’, but I won’t lose this fight so I’m not even thinking about retiring.
“I’m actually thinking about what’s next, I’m thinking that when I beat Fitzgerald I want a world title shot and a final eliminator. I want something big.
“When I beat Fitzgerald, if nothing comes after that then I’ll retire on a high. I’ve achieved everything I needed to achieve so I’ll be happy if I retired now.
“I’ve done so much but I’m thinking about what comes after Fitzgerald, I’m not even thinking about calling it a day because I know in my heart of hearts I’ll win this fight.”
For Rose it represents a step back into the big time, while Fitzgerald will be aiming to continue his forward momentum after propelling himself into the limelight with his surprise win against Anthony Fowler in March.
The 27-year-old upset the odds to inflict the first professional defeat of Fowler’s career in a thrilling bout in Liverpool, taking his record to 13 win from 13 fights.
Rose, meanwhile, returned to action in April with a dominant points win against James Hagenimana having recorded a first-round knockdown.
The 34-year-old, who is the far more experienced campaigner, has won 31 of his 37 fights to date and previously challenged for a world title in 2014.
Rose says it’s the right time to return to the big time, with the bout taking place at Manchester Arena live on Sky Sports.
“It’s great to be back where I belong,” Rose added. “I’ve worked really hard over these last couple of fights.
“I probably could have gone back on Sky Sports straight away but I wouldn’t have been ready and I probably would have got beat.
“So I’ve done it the hard way, going back on small hall shows, putting a couple of wins together. But I knew, because of my name, I’d get that big fight again and that’s what I’ve done.”