Louis Rose to face unbeaten Rob Brant on ShoBox
Numerous fighters look at boxing as their livelihoods. For Louis Rose, it is his passion and his salvation.
Rose loves to fight. While he is no different from many fighters who lace up the gloves, boxing seems to have been the one constant in which Rose has been able to flourish.
Within a span of over six years, Rose has gone from homelessness to being on the cusp of world title contention.
Rose will fight Rob Brant tonight at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Ariz. The 10-round bout will top a four-bout “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecast on Showtime, beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Rose (13-2-1, 5 knockouts) has carried the phrase of ‘learning on the job’ since making his pro debut in 2011. After fighting in only 25 amateur fights, Rose has faced solid opposition in the pro ranks, defeating five fighters with winning records.
His most notable bouts have come when he was likely the underdog. He fought to a 10-round split draw against Paul Mendez, a fight many at ringside thought he did enough to win. He was knocked out in the first round by hard-hitting prospect Ievgen Khytrov on Nov. 21, a fight he admits he was not ready for.
In his last bout on Aug. 15, Rose stopped once-beaten Andrew Hernandez in the eighth round in Fort McDowell, Ariz.
Rose will face another unbeaten fighter in Rob Brant (17-0, 11 KOs), who has fought mostly in the Minnesota area, where he resides. Rose has fought the better opposition of the two thus far and, while not sounding overconfident, he believes what he has gone through in his personal life will be enough to ensure victory.
“He’s a good fighter,” Rose told RingTV earlier this week over the phone. “He’s a basic fighter. He sticks to the basics. He doesn’t have anything that I haven’t seen before. I’m a very hungry fighter and I’m not going to let anyone, including Rob Brant, stop me from moving forward.”
If you were to have met Rose before he turned pro, he was probably hungrier. Only instead of winning belts, it was for anything he could put in his mouth. Rose was homeless and living in his car. The uncertainty of life hung over him as he lived in and around the Lynwood area, a blue-collar suburb of Los Angeles, which is home to mostly Latinos and African-Americans.
Rose found boxing almost by accident at the age of 20. At a time when most are in college, the military or working, Rose had to find himself much more quickly than he probably should have.
“I was 20 when I first ever laced up a pair of gloves,” said Rose, who goes by the nickname of “Unknown.” Honestly, I don’t know what it was. At the time, I was living in my car. I was homeless but luckily I had a job, construction work. I stayed in my car for eight months. At first, I was just going [to the gym] to use the shower because I had nowhere to take a shower. Something just told me, ‘Hey, start boxing.'”
“After the construction work, I would go to the gym and stay there all day and just train and train and train. Before that, I used to get beat up a lot but, after that, I was tough.”
Rose has demonstrated a lot of promise thus far and seemed to get a thrill out of facing the toughest of opposition. He admits he bit off more than he could chew in the loss to Khytrov.
“At that time, I wasn’t ready for that. I had too much fight [in me] but I learned a lot from that fight. We learned what I had to work on and I trained very hard for this fight.”
The jury may be out on whether Rose could contend for a world title. But Rose does make for good fights and his style is TV-friendly.
Rose can adapt in the ring and believes he has the advantage of utilizing any style in the ring against his opponents.
“I can do it all. I can box. I can counter. I can hit hard. I’ve sparred against heavyweights. I feel all those things give me an edge.”
From living in a car to now living out a dream, Rose has made the most of his opportunities thus far. A victory over Brant could catapult him to earning larger purses and continuing to fight on network television.
It has been a long road thus far for him but he is eager to continue on that path on which he can envision fighting for a world title and provide for himself.
“Nobody wants to go back to where I was in life. That has helped me a lot.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since Oct. of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.