Blackpool boxer Brian Rose is aiming to silence the detractors who doubt his ability to mix it at world level when he fights at the 02 Arena in London on Saturday in a middleweight showdown with Matthew Macklin.
Rose admitted: “I am a realist and I know people question whether I can win a world title, but I want to get there and perform and have no regrets when I retire.”
He added: “It was a strange one when it was first announced I was fighting Macklin, but I am sure we have both got our heads around it now and we both know we need to do a job.
“I would be looking to fight a final eliminator and then a world title, but this time I want to perform.”
Rose and Macklin are pals from a long way back, but friendship will be put on hold for the duration of tonight’s International Boxing Federation inter-continental title clash.
Rose said: “Matthew lived in my trainer Bobby Rimmer’s flat like I did and over the years I took a lot of advice from Matthew.
“The friendship will always be there, but we haven’t been friends for the last eight weeks because we have to fight each other.
Macklin conceded: “I am very much fighting for my career. If Brian loses, it may not be the end for him. He can probably come back, re-build, but for me I certainly couldn’t stand the loss to Brian at this stage of my career.
“I have fought for a world title three times and all three of those were on American TV.
“It could go a lot of ways. I think I could go out there and do a number on Brian, but I have to give him the respect that his career deserves.
“He has had losses and come back and avenged them and that shows you something about his character.
“He has a good defence and the times he has been knocked out he’s been caught cold, he has never really been broken down.
“Rose is a good fighter, but I don’t think he is world class.
“He fought for a world title against Demetrius Andrade, who is a really good fighter, and he did okay, but I don’t think he is somebody who would consistently perform at world level.”
There is a show at the Urban Village Resort in Blackpool on Saturday night when local hope RP Davies takes on William Warburton. The only loss on Davies’ career was at the hands of Warburton. Davies said: “I have the utmost respect for Warburton and know first hand he is far better than his record suggests.
“I believe I am a different man than I was at the time of the defeat a year ago and I aim to prove it”
The bill also features Blackpool prospect Alex McCloy.