British light-middleweight champion Brian ‘The Lion’ Rose is predicting a knockout performance in front of his hometown fans when he takes on Londoner Sam Webb at the Blackpool Winter Gardens on December 14.
With the added incentive of winning the Lonsdale Belt outright if he retains his title and up against an opponent in Webb, a former domestic champion who has been critical of Rose ahead of the clash, Brian is training harder than ever and totally confident of winning the grudge match.
“On paper he’s my toughest opponent and it’s the biggest fight of my career to own the belt outright. I’m not underestimating him because I know how good he is. He’s been champion and has beaten good people so he’s earned his shot. As a fighter he’s got to be respected.
“It is personal though. I’ve never disliked anyone I’ve boxed but I’ve taken a disliking to him because he’s disrespected me and my opponents. I didn’t think he was that kind of person.
“Going off past fights when someone’s got my back up I’ve been a better fighter. Everyone knows I’m technically a good boxer but when I’ve got that edge, that little hatred towards someone, that’s when I’m best and I’ll train harder because of it.
“I want to do a proper job and don’t just want to win on points. It’s always good just to win but I think I’m capable of stopping Sam Webb. I’m punching harder and I think I’ve got the right style to stop him. He’s fit but I will get to him, hit him and hurt him, and I will stop him.”
Rose is in great form. Last time out in October, also at the Winter Gardens, the Bobby Rimmer trained boxer picked up the sixth knockout of his 23 fight career when he poleaxed former world champion Vivian Harris in three rounds. Now, heading into the Webb contest, the 27 year-old says his opponent will face a fighter in career best shape, something he attributes to the extra work he has been undertaking with renowned strength and nutrition expert Kerry Kayes.
Webb, who feels he has been ducked by Rose, will take some beating. Aggressive, and with the ability to box and brawl, Sam, who has won 18 of 20 bouts, will be determined to reclaim the belt he lost in a fight of the year contender to Manchester’s Prince Arron in May 2011.
Brian, who took the title off Arron, is convinced the impending clash has all the hallmarks of a classic. Stating that Webb had previously turned down an October match because he was reluctant to travel to Blackpool, ‘The Lion’ is pleased he has finally lured the Londoner into his lair where he predicts that styles will mesh to produce a barnstormer.
“He’s got two ways of boxing. He can box, and he can stand and have a fight. If he comes and has a fight then I’ll pick him off, and if he tries to box me then I know that technically I’m better than him. It will be tough for us both for the first few rounds, but I think this fight has got the potential to be a fight of the year.”