Rose to wilt in New York
Simon Crawford thinks Blackpool light-middleweight Brian Rose will fall short against WBO champion Demetrius Andrade this weekend in New York.
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Blackpool's light-middleweight Brian Rose faces the biggest night of his career when he challenges WBO champion Demetrius Andrade this weekend.
The 29-year-old (25-1-1 7KOs) will fight for his first world title in New York, but I have to say I think he will end up falling short in his quest.
Rose became the WBO's mandatory challenger last October when he outpointed rugged Argentine Javier Francisco Maciel in Sheffield, and has decent names on his record such as Vivian Harris and Joachim Alcine, who he stopped to land the vacant WBO intercontinental light-middleweight title.
Rose has plenty going for him. He is a skilled boxer with fast hands and he is rugged and durable.
But the one thing he lacks is a fight-ending punch which seven knockouts in 27 outings clearly demonstrates.
I can't see him out-boxing Andrade and we all know how notoriously difficult it is to get a points decision as the 'away' fighter, so I'm not sure how he can win this one.
Of course any boxer is capable of unleashing that one devastating punch, but that's not in Rose's way of working.
He's a thinking boxer who moves well and works hard, but I don't think that will be enough.
Andrade, 26, is a very awkward southpaw who like Rose is more of boxer than a puncher and he's certainly no brawler.
A former Olympian who had a glittering amateur career, Andrade (20-0 13KOs) claimed his first world title in his last fight, outpointing Vanes Martirosyan by split decision - but it was far more clear-cut than that.
One negative point is his relative lack of experience, but he controls fights well with his jab and is a nightmare to hit.
I feel Rose will have to try to tempt Andrade into a fight, push him about and rough him up in order to disrupt his rhythm.
The Brit is technically good but will have to produce something a little bit off the cuff in order to give himself a chance, but I just don't see it happening.
The layers make Andrade a very strong favourite and 1/7 is the best you'll get on him - he's as short as 1/16 with some firms.
Rose can be easily backed at 7/1 which is a huge price for someone of his standing, but as I've said I'm struggling to see how he wins this.
I do think he will push Andrade and it will go the judges' cards, but the American will take a comfortable points decision at 2/1.
On the same bill, WBO light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov defends his title against undefeated contender Chris Algieri (19-0 8KOs).
Provodnikov, 30, really came to the fore last year when he narrowly lost a brutal encounter with Timothy Bradley after having him in all kinds of trouble.
Originally from Siberia, Provodnikov (23-2 16KOs) is as tough as they come and claimed the world title last October when he forced the highly-rated Mike Alvarado to retire in the 10th round after having him down twice in the eighth.
His first defence is against Algieri, also 30 - a former kickboxing champion who has moved across to this new discipline with the minimum of fuss.
He will have considerable height and reach advantages over Provodnikov and works behind a stiff jab, but although he has an unbeaten record he is stepping up several levels in class here.
I think it will be only a matter of time before the tough Russian nails him with his relentless come-forward style and power in both hands.
If the chin is guarded, he will switch to the body without it troubling his flow and I think he will either knock out an outclassed Algieri or force the referee to intervene and rescue him.
Provodnikov is a general 1/6 favourite, while Algieri is virtually 9/2 across the board.
My belief is that Provodnikov will force the stoppage in the middle rounds and I'm taking the 8/13 offered by Sky Bet and Boylesports for a knockout or technical knockout.