Jul 05, 2017 by Brian McNair Oshawa This Week
OSHAWA — Phil Rose hopes he is done fighting the travel agent in his quest for a title in the 2017 Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum Contender Boxing Series in Jamaica.
Rose, a 35-year-old Whitby resident and member of the Motor City Boxing Club in Oshawa, has now won two bouts and will return to Kingston to fight Jamaican Richard Holmes July 12 in the semifinals.
Due to scheduling issues and a sponsorship with Fly Jamaica, organizers of the series have given Rose and coach Don Nelson quite the runaround simply to get to ring.
All four trips between Toronto and Kingston so far have gone via Guyana, which, including a six-hour layover, meant almost 24 hours of travel each time.
Thankfully, Nelson says they will finally get a direct flight for the next bout.
“The good thing for him is he’s gotten through these first two fights without getting banged up,” Nelson reports. “There’s no wear and tear on him really to speak of, just the flights.”
Although the series started with eight boxers each from Canada and Jamaica, Rose, the No. 1 seed from the north, is the lone Canadian remaining.
He beat Ricardo Planter in a split decision April 12, and then won unanimously against fellow Canadian Dave Leblond June 7.
Although he hasn’t had to deal with anything serious yet from an opponent, Rose struggled with getting down to 154 pounds for the first fight, and had a nasty bout of peripheral edema from the long flight home after the second bout. The swelling in his limbs was so bad, in fact, he had to have an ultrasound to rule out blood clots before resuming in the series.
Nelson says his fighter is fine now, in shape and raring to go.
“The big thing for him is that his conditioning was a little bit questionable in the first fight, but his conditioning was great for the second fight,” he says. “He looked a lot stronger.”
Holmes, 29, has a 14-6 pro record with eight knockouts, while Rose is now 8-4-1 with five knockouts.
The semifinal bouts are seven rounds, while the July 26 final will go 10 barring a stoppage. The champion will claim $2-million Jamaican, which is the equivalent of about $20,000 Canadian.
by Brian McNair
Brian McNair is sports editor Metroland Media Group Durham Region. He has covered sports in Durham Region for 20 years.
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Close your eyes and allow yourself to take a trip back in time. The year: 1988; you’re listening to Rick Astley’s hit “Never Gonna Give Up” on your Discman, or perhaps watching the series premier of the hit TV show Roseanne, or you were tuned in watching Lennox Lewis win Gold for Canada at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea – a feat which Canadian boxers wouldn’t come close to again for more than 30 years, and counting.