‘Vicious’ Vivian Harris insists that British light-middleweight champion Brian ‘The Lion’ Rose will face a rejuvenated opponent when the pair clash at the Blackpool Winter Gardens on October 5.
American based Harris, 34, enters the fight on the back of a losing streak but the former WBA light-welterweight champion is adamant that, in recent years, making weight has been his biggest adversary and that Rose will now be tackling a fighter boxing at his natural poundage.
“Fighting at light-middleweight won’t be a problem for me. I should have fought there from when I lost my belt because I walk around at 170lbs,” said American-based Harris. “I was always a big light-welter. You’re right though, I have won one of my last eight fights [including a draw and a ‘No Contest’], but four of those were because I couldn’t make light-welter anymore. Of my last three fights at welterweight, they [the judges] took two from me. But, yes, I lost my last fight.”
Rose, 27, was due to defend his belt against Londoner Sam Webb on the David Price versus Audley Harrison undercard in Liverpool on October 13 but, after that contest was postponed, he now steps in with Harris in a hometown date that has ‘banana-skin’ etched all over it.
With just one defeat in 22 contests, and the younger and bigger man, the smart money is on Rose to add Harris’ internationally-known name to his ledger before moving on to a rearranged date with Webb. It’s said that a fighter never loses his punch, though, and Vivian can bang. With 19 of his 29 wins coming inside the distance, if Harris connects then Brian, who has been KO’d before, may see stars.
Currently at a crossroads in his career, ‘Vicious’ knows he needs to win this fight. If he loses then his future options are limited. Conversely, if he triumphs then he regains some of his former standing and gets more nights under the bright lights. A pro since 1997, and having mixed in better company than Brian, Vivian is relishing swapping punches with his English opponent.
“I know what I see on the [video] tape and I don’t think anything of him [Rose], just a fighter working to get to the top,” stated Harris. “It’s very important that I beat Brian Rose though and I’m very confident. I love fighting in England and can’t wait to get over there; they are great boxing fans there.”
"I have known Vivian since he was 17, discovering him in the Colorado amateurs and bringing him to Shelly Finkel and Lou Duva to become a two-time world champion,” reiterated Harris’ manager, Thomas Hickey, “and Vivian is more determined than ever to become a world champion again at his more natural weight.”
Appearing alongside Rose on the Blackpool show will be three of the seaside town’s rising boxing stars – cruiserweight Matty ‘Assassin’ Askin; and undefeated prospects Adam Little and Scott Cardle. In what promises to be a great night for North West fight fans, this will be the first and, most likely, last time these four fighters all appear on the same card in their home town.
Also 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.
BREAKING NEWS: On Friday September 28, at 9pm, the headline boxers will undertake a light workout at Blackpool’s ‘G Casino’ before taking part in a Q&A session hosted by comedian Joey Blower. Appearing alongside the fighters in the Q&A will also be comebacking fight-legend Ricky Hatton. Tickets for this event can be obtained from any of the boxers, from ‘G Casino’ direct, or from the VIP Promotions website. On Saturday September 29, at 12pm, the headline fighters will also take part in a public workout in Blackpool – venue to be confirmed.
September 24, 2012