Originally written on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 11/19/14

(Brian Rose, left; Prince Arron, right)

Brian Rose proved too organised for an off-key Prince Arron in Wigan Saturday night, claiming the British junior middleweight title in this, his first attempt. The Blackpool underdog showed a steely concentration throughout their encounter, timing the gangling Arron’s attacks to perfection all night. Whenever Arron tried to establish his jab, Rose would come over the top with a right hand; when the champion went for a big right of his own, he found a jab in his kisser. It was simple, but highly effective stuff.

At the end of 12, Rose had split the judges 117-113, 116-113 and 114-115 in his favour, although, in all honesty it had looked a more cut and dried win than Phil Edwards’ scoreline (for Arron) had suggested. It was another strange piece of officiating in a weekend that brimmed with them.

Arron, 153 ¾ lbs., bounced through the strands decked out in Santa Claus-inspired shorts and he showed a penchant for the old boy’s generosity early on, handing Rose, 153 ½ lbs., the first four rounds. The favourite struggled to find a sense of timing and rhythm through the opening act, whereas Rose showed a soldier’s temperament with a sniper’s aim, sticking to his guns as the champion repeatedly misfired in front of him.

Arron spluttered into life in the 5th. Loosening up from his shoulders he began snaking home his jab backed up with right hands, and he crashed home a hurtful looking uppercut near the end of the session in a bid to skew momentum his way. Rose, though, responded well in the next, going back to his basics behind a high and tight guard and an expertly delivered left stick.

The bout’s middle third was as cagey as a caribou shoot. Arron could never quite manage to settle as he would have liked. Just when he appeared to slip into a groove, Rose, focussing hard, would nudge him deftly back out of it using sharply delivered rights and scything left hooks.

Arron fiddled himself a couple of rounds before the last, only for Rose to roar back once again. “The Lion” rallied hard, adding an exclamation point to what was a startling win, one achieved from long odds, to become Blackpool’s first Lonsdale belt holder since Brian London in 1958.
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