Anthony Fowler opens up to Sky Sports about Scott Fitzgerald defeat, risking his reputation again in Brian Rose fight, and preserving his title plan for this year.
Fowler was not expecting to be fighting for his top-line career at such an early stage during his professional apprenticeship. A darling of amateur boxing with a cluster of credentials to make most envious, Fowler turned professional in the spring of 2017. His maiden two years as a paid fighter were filled with multiple stellar performances, but back in March, his momentum was shockingly derailed when he was dropped and beaten by former vested rival Scott Fitzgerald in front of his home fans.
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With Brian Rose waiting for him this Friday night, Fowler will once again revisit Liverpool’s waterfront as he begins to exorcise the demons of defeat.
In Rose, Fowler gets an opponent who was originally slated to be facing Fitzgerald back in July. An injury to the Preston man thwarted that meeting and Fowler was set to step in as a replacement until the show was cancelled. Rescheduled for this weekend, Fowler is fully rejuvenated from his first career setback and admits exclusively to Sky Sports that he has learnt valuable lessons from the Fitzgerald showdown.
2:10 Scott Fitzgerald floored Fowler in the last round to secure a split decision win
“He couldn’t beat me on my worst day is what I fully believed heading into that fight,” admits Fowler, days away from his meeting with Rose following a hard camp with trainer, Dave Coldwell.
“The best version of me is when I’ve been in the ring with someone who really scares me because I fight so much better when there’s pressure on me and when I fear my opponent. There wasn’t the tiniest part of me that feared Scott Fitzgerald because I’d beaten him as an amateur and didn’t think much him of a pro.
“It was a big mistake to not pay him any respect because he put in a great performance, but if I could do it all again then I’d know what to expect and I’d be a million times better.
“Even though I lost the fight, I still think I might’ve done enough in the first half to have got the nod but the knockdown in the last round was so crucial and it gave Scott the slightest edge.
“I wasn’t happy with my performance in the slightest and I had to admit a few things to myself about the way I prepare, but even boxing bad, I still almost pulled it off.
“It’s a fight I definitely want again in the future but I can’t put no focus on that because I have Brian Rose in front of me and I have to put everything into him because he’s the next opponent who’s standing in my way to where I want to get to.”
Rose has been a professional since 2005 and has shared the ring with a number of quality operators. Men like Demetrius Andrade, Joachim Alcine, Carson Jones, and Matthew Macklin have all been in with Rose, and with the exception of Andrade, all were given a stern examination by the battle-hardened 34-year-old.
Now undoubtedly in the final stages of his lengthy career, some identify Rose as a stepping stone for Fowler, but the 2016 Olympian is insistent that Rose has his full attention.
“I’ve always said that I wanted to be a part of the big nights and to fight for titles, and if I do a good job on Brian Rose then there’s no reason why I can’t do that.