Anthony Fowler will headline his first ever show in his hometown at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool on Friday August 2 when he steps-up to take on former World title challenger Brian Rose on the latest instalment if the JD NXTGEN series, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Fowler (9-1, 8 KOs) lands a golden opportunity to bounce back from a first career defeat at the hands of Preston rival Scott Fitzgerald and ‘The Machine’ knows that nothing less than a win will suffice as he aims to climb the 154lbs ladder.
Rose (31-5-1, 8 KOs) believes his superior experience will prove to be the difference on the night and ‘The Lion’, a former British champion, is determined to fire his name back into the mix one last time before he hangs up his gloves for good.
“I want tests and I want to be involved in the big fights,” said Fowler. “To be headlining a show in Liverpool is a great honour. I’m not in this game to be taking easy fights. Brian has mixed it at the top level throughout his career and this is a fantastic chance for me to test myself against an experienced opponent.
“I learnt a lot from my last fight and we went away and improved in a few areas. I know that I’m in for a tough night’s work but this is a fight that I feel ready and prepared for. Brian is a known name and I think he’ll get the best out of me on the night. This is strictly business and I’m ready to do the business in what is a must-win fight for me.”
“I think he’s a good fighter but he’s certainly not ready for me,” said Rose. “I’m more experienced than him and I can do 12 rounds standing on my head. It’s a mismatch. 18 months out of the ring gave me time to think about what I wanted and I feel like I’ve got so much left in the tank to give.
“If he doesn’t win this fight where does he go? He’s lost to someone that’s young and a prospect, and now he’s fighting me who people think is over the hill. He’ll have lost to a prospect and a veteran. The pressure is all on him and he has to pull out the stops.
“I sparred with him a few years ago and I get on with him but quite recently he’s slagged me off on social media. It’s left a bad taste in my mouth but I’ll deal with that on the night. For me this comeback isn’t about money, it’s not even about achievement, it’s about knowing I’ve got something left to give the sport that I’ve served for so long.”
Forest Hall banger Lewis Ritson (18-1, 11 KOs) makes his second appearance at 140lbs as he takes on former European champion Joe Hughes (17-4-1, 7 KOs) in a tasty showdown for the WBA Continental title that could lead to a shot at Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jr. later in the year.
Davies Jr. (18-1, 12 KOs) outpointed Hughes at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool to claim the EBU European crown back in April and keeps busy on August 2 knowing that a clash with ‘The Sandman’ could be next.
Bolton’s English Middleweight champion Jack Cullen (16-1, 7 KOs) makes the first defence of his title against Dillian Whyte-managed Brixton man John Harding Jr (7-0-1, 1 KO) after his Commonwealth title shot against Felix Cash was shelved due to an injury to the champion.
Martin Bakole (12-1, 9 KOs) returns to take on Ecuador’s Ytalo Perea (11-4-2, 7 KOs) after defeating former World title challenger Mariusz Wach in April, stopping the Pole in eight rounds in his first fight since a loss to Heavyweight contender Michael Hunter.
Welsh amateur star Sean McGoldrick (9-0, 2 KOs) says he is ready to push on towards title action but the 2010 Commonwealth gold medallist must first overcome former Commonwealth and English Flyweight champion Thomas Essomba (8-5, 3 KOs).
FOWLER: “I’VE GOT A NEW FOUND HUNGER”
Anthony Fowler says he has developed a “new found hunger” after suffering the first loss of his professional career at the hands of Preston’s Scott Fitzgerald at The M&S Bank Arena Liverpool back in March.
‘The Machine’ looks to return to winning ways this Friday in front of his home crowd at the Exhibition Centre when he takes on Blackpool’s Brian Rose for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Fowler, trained by Dave Coldwell in Rotherham, is all too aware that his clash with former World title challenger and British Champion Rose is must-win. The ex-Team GB star admits to learning valuable lessons from his Fitzgerald defeat and says there’s no chance of him overlooking 34-year-old Rose.
“I’ve got a new found hunger,” said Fowler. “I got a little bit cocky last time. I thought it would be an easy fight and I got proved wrong, so I’ve been brought down to earth a bit. I completely underestimated him and that’s my own fault.
“It was a close fight all the way through. I felt as though I was winning going into the last round but I still wanted to take him out. Looking back, maybe I should have got behind the jab and boxed to a decision. It was all for grabs and I went for it, so it was what it was.
“I’d had nine fights, it was a big occasion and I showed that I’ve got a lot in me, a lot of heart and a lot of strength. Even in the ninth round I still hurt him. I showed a lot but it’s still early days and I’ve got a lot ahead of me to learn.
“Every fight is must-win. I take every fight very seriously. I learnt a lot from my last fight and I’ll take that experience into this fight. I’m not looking past anyone, I’ve learnt from that mistake. I respect Brian. He’s a good fighter and I look forward to sharing a ring with him.
“I always say you’re only as good as your last fight. My last fight was a title fight, obviously it was a loss but it was a great fight. He boxed a journeyman over six rounds. What you did years ago means nothing now but he’s got experience on his side. I don’t think he’s stopped anyone for years has he? But we’ll see. Hopefully he does drag me into deep waters because I can swim.”
Fowler vs. Rose tops a bumper JD NXTGEN card in Liverpool.
Bolton’s Jack Cullen (16-1, 7 KOs) defends his English Middleweight title against Brixton’s John Harding Jr (7-0-1, 1 KO) Forest Hall banger Lewis Ritson (18-1, 11 KOs) makes his second appearance at 140lbs as he defends his WBA Continental title, Heavyweight contender Martin Bakole (12-1, 9 KOs) returns to take on Ecuador’s Ytalo Perea (11-4-2, 7 KOs) and Welsh amateur star Sean McGoldrick (9-0, 2 KOs) meets Thomas Essomba (8-5, 3 KOs) for the WBA Continental Bantamweight Championship and Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jr (18-1, 12 KOs) returns after his European and British title win over Joe Hughes.
There’s also action for hard-hitting Montrose Super-Middleweight John Docherty (5-0, 5 KOs), Leeds Super-Bantamweight Qais Ashfaq (6-0, 3 KOs), Anthony Bellew-managed Light-Heavyweight prospect Thomas Hart (1-0), Anthony Crolla Lightweight protege Dylan Evans (2-0) and Manchester Welterweight debutant Nathan Farrell.