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Rose wants spotlight with Contender win

Published:Sunday | July 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment
Canadian boxer Phil Rose (left) connects with a right to the body of Jamaica’s Richard Holmes in the Wray and Nephew Contender semi-final bout held at The Mico University College on Wednesday, July 12. Rose scored a split-decision win.

Phil 'The Assassin' Rose, one of this season's Wray and Nephew Contender Series finalists, aims to win the competition to grow his reputation in professional boxing. However, he is also seeking to become the first Canadian to put the coveted title around his waist, but in doing so, he said that he wants to make both Jamaica and Canada proud as champion.

Rose was born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, on June 6, 1982, to Jamaican parents. His father is from the coincidentally named Rose Lane in Kingston, and his mother, from the Red Hills area of St Andrew.

The youngest of three boys, Rose said that he had a good childhood, even though he spent many years of it raised by just his mother. He grew up with the culture of Jamaica instilled in him from a young age.

"I love my Jamaican food and I love my Jamaican music," he said. "I can listen to reggae from morning 'til night. I like old school. I like some of the new stuff, but there's nothing like the old-school stuff. Beenie Man, Bounty Killa, Buju - he needs to come out (of prison), Capelton, Barrington Levy, I could go on, but I like the cultural stuff, too. Vybz Kartel also has some good stuff. I don't speak (patois) because I sound stupid, but I love Jamaican culture," he laughed.

Rose said that like most children who grew up with elder brothers, he was picked on a lot by them. However, he said that it was not the same at school.

"I carried myself well I was a little scrapper when I was in school. I didn't back down from anything," Rose said.

Rose, who many describe today as having a very muscular and physically imposing physique, said that he liked all sports growing up and was very athletic. He played basketball, volleyball, and also said that he was a wide midfielder and sweeper in football, where he won many trophies before making a switch to American football.

He then got introduced to boxing, which he said made his mother apprehensive about his participation.

"I was living by my mom's house and there was a community boxing clubhouse just down the street and I thought, 'You know what? I wanna go in and see what it's like.' So I went down to the club, took a look inside, did a tryout class, and I was hooked ever since," Rose said.

He has fond memories of his first fight, which he describes as "amazing".

"There was a lot of emotion and a lot of energy going into the ring," Rose said. "The first round, you're going and going and going. After that two minutes I was so tired. I didn't realise how tired I was. I had to take a deep breath and relax because the nerves, the nerves really get to you. Once I got through the first round, I was okay, and then I went on to win the fight."

Rose, however, describes his progression to where he is now in his career as a "hard, hard road". This is because he has to balance his boxing with his regular life, which includes his wife and three children.




"I have three kids, and I've been remarried two years. I actually had my second anniversary when I was in Jamaica fighting (Richard) Holmes (in the Contender Semi-final). It's been rough. My wife, she supports me 100 per cent, and if I didn't have her behind me, it would be very hard. She's looking after three kids that are not hers. She allows me to go out to train. She looks after the kids for me, knowing they're not her kids, but she takes care of them like they are."

Rose said that thinking about the support of his wife and his children back home provides added motivation each time he steps through the ropes to compete.

"I think of them and I praise God to make sure I'm healthy and I get through the fight in one piece and I can come home to my family," he said.

Rose faces Sakima 'The Mauler' Mullings in the Contender final at the Mico University College on Wednesday evening and is looking for what he describes as a career-changing win.

"It's gonna put me in the spotlight, and people are gonna know who I really am. If I win the Contender Series, it's gonna shoot me forward in my career. It's gonna be amazing! It's gonna put my name out in the spotlight. It's gonna say Phil Rose is somebody to contend with," he said.