The seaside town of Blackpool is riding the crest of a boxing wave at the moment, with five of it’s fighting sons all in the midst of successful boxing careers. Brian Rose, Matty Askin, Scott Cardle, Jack Arnfield and Adam Little are all flying high and, for the first and probably last time, fight fans will now get the chance to see the quintet in action on the same night when VIP Promotions stage ‘Blackpool’s Famous Five’ at the town’s Winter Gardens on October 5.
British light-middleweight champion Rose, 27, headlines against former world champion Vivian ‘Vicious’ Harris. After an October 13th title defence against Sam Webb, on the David Price versus Audley Harrison undercard, was postponed, promoter Steve Wood quickly got the wheels in motion to set up this terrific Blackpool show; and drafted Harris into the opposite corner for Rose. With just one defeat in 22 bouts, Brian knows if he can scalp Harris and add the Guyanese fighter’s name to his CV then his standing in international fight circles will be bolstered.
Harris, however, could prove a precarious night’s work for ‘The Lion’. Vivian’s name might not carry the weight it did a few years back when he was the WBA world light-welterweight champion, but the American-based fighter can still whack. Far more experienced, and with 19 of his 29 career wins coming by knockout, the danger is if Harris lands clean then Rose is in trouble. Currently on a winless streak and drinking in the last chance saloon, ‘Vicious’ has mixed in better company than Brian and knows a victory will regain some of his former standing. A desperate fighter is often a dangerous one and Rose is aware that he cannot afford to underestimate his opponent.
“I might get into the world rankings by beating him because we all know how good a fighter he’s been,” explained Brian. “He’s fought world class fighters and he’ll have world class tricks so I definitely won’t be taking him for granted. They say you never lose your punch, so he’s going to be very dangerous, but I know I’m good enough to beat Vivian Harris at this time in my career.”
Looking to follow in Rose’s footsteps will be his fellow seasiders on the bill. Matty ‘Assassin’ Askin has been tipped for big things, but that optimism was punctured last time out in April with defeat to County Durham’s Jon-Lewis Dickinson. With nine early finishes from 13 wins, that English title loss is Matty’s only career setback and, still young at just 23, the cruiserweight will want to get his promising career back on track in front of his home fans.
Arnfield, Cardle and Little are all undefeated and well worth their prospect tags. After an enforced break from the ring, Arnfield, 23, is after his third win this year and will be looking to move to 15-0, and claim the Central Area light-middleweight belt, by beating Doncaster’s Jason Ball.
A pro for just a matter of months, and with only four fights under his belt, former England amateur star ‘Scotty’ Cardle, has had boxing insiders raving with some classy displays. Now, in just his fifth outing, there are already calls for the 22 year old to be moved beyond the journeyman stage of his career, although his team will probably want to keep him on a leash for a while yet.
When ‘The Hitman’ says that Adam Little, 21, will ‘soon be a name on everyone’s lips’ then it’s worth taking notice! Ricky Hatton is predicting a bright future for his protégé, and Little, a former Junior ABA champion, cannot wait for his Winter Gardens debut. “All the lads on the show are top quality,” said Adam, who will be having his eighth fight, “and I’m sure we will all make Blackpool proud.”
“Getting all these boxers on the same show is really exciting and special for the town of Blackpool,” stated Wood. “There’s already one British champ amongst them and I’ve got no doubt the others can go on to replicate Brian’s success. It’s a great time for boxing in Blackpool at the moment and I don’t think we’ll ever see all these guys fighting on the same bill again. It is going to be a special night and tickets are going really well for the show. I’d like to reiterate my thanks to fellow promoters Eddie Hearn and Ricky Hatton for their support in helping to make this show happen.”
Also appearing on the bill will be unbeaten Liverpool prospect James ‘Jazza’ Dickens, and crowd favourite Jeff Thomas from Lytham St Annes. While the show will also be a memorable occasion for Steve Lewis, Issac Lowe, Scott Moonan, and Lee Crossland, who are all set to make their professional debuts.
‘Blackpool’s Famous Five’ will be at the Blackpool Winter Gardens on October 5. Tickets, priced at £35 (General), £40.00 (Balcony) and £70 (Ringside) are available from all boxers (balcony seats from the venue only) or at www.vipbe.co.uk
Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting www.vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing. Currently, you can also watch free fights at www.vipboxing.tv