Lancashire derby between Brian Rose and Scott Fitzgerald confirmed for Manchester this summer
The hotly-anticipated Blackpool v Preston showdown between Brian Rose and Scott Fitzgerald has been confirmed.
The West Lancashire rivals will battle it out for Fitzgerald's WBA ranking title at Manchester Arena on Saturday, July 6, with the bout to be shown live on Sky Sports.
The fighters were inundated with messages from boxing fans on social media telling them to get it on following Fitzgerald’s impressive win against Anthony Fowler in March.
The 27-year-old upset the odds to inflict the first professional defeat of Fowler’s career in a thrilling bout in Liverpool, taking his record to 13 win from 13 fights.
Rose, meanwhile, returned to action last month with a dominant points win against James Hagenimana having recorded a first-round knockdown.
The 34-year-old, who is the far more experienced campaigner, has won 31 of his 37 fights to date and has previously challenged for a world title.
“It’s going to be a mad atmosphere with all of the Preston and Blackpool fans packed into Manchester Arena,” Fitzgerald said.
“I’m confident of doing a good job on him. I’ll outjab him all night and get the win. This could be his last night in the sport so he’ll want to go out with a bang.
“He’s number two at middleweight at the moment on BoxRec. He’s a good opponent. He’s a little older than me but experience is on his side.
"Before I ever even had an amateur fight, I knew who he was. He was the top boy around Lancashire, where we’re from. It’s a fight that I thought about before I even turned pro and now it’s happening.
“I wanted to fight Ted Cheeseman for the British title but this one was next on my list. It’s a big local rivalry and one that all of the Preston lads will get behind massively. The Cheeseman fight will still be there after I beat Rose, I want to take that belt off a champion.
“I made my debut at Manchester Arena. Preston is about the same distance from Liverpool as it is Manchester so there’ll be a lot in there again, probably more this time because there’s a lot of people buzzing off me right around Britain.”
Rose said: "I've worked really hard at getting a big fight again so I'm made up that we've got this fight live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
“I've had two wins since coming back and I've felt really good, so I can't wait to step into the ring with Fitzgerald.
"I have a lot of respect for Fitzgerald for giving me the opportunity and I don't think people realise how big this fight for Blackpool and Preston. This is a huge fight for Lancashire and it's going to be a great night for the fans, so may the best man win.
"I've worked really hard getting back to where I am and by moving back down to super-welterweight, which is where I achieved everything, I'm giving myself the best chance of making an impact.
"I won the British title and challenged for a World title at that weight, so I've already done what Fitzgerald is hoping to achieve in his career.
"It was only up at middleweight where I came unstuck, but at this weight I know what I'm capable of, so this fight makes so much sense.
"It's going to be a great fight, and I promise that I'll be the best I've ever been. When I win this fight I can hopefully get a top ten ranking and then who knows what can happen."