WALE’S WOE

Josh Wale is hoping Craig Lyon will agree to a rematch. Picture: Emily Cooper.
Josh Wale is hoping Craig Lyon will agree to a rematch. Picture: Emily Cooper.

A DEVASTATED Josh Wale has called upon English champion Craig Lyon to ‘do the right thing’ and agree to a rematch following their draw in Bolton.

Both fighters suffered cuts in the third round of the bantamweight title contest, leading to referee John Keane waving the fight off and declaring a technical draw.

And a frustrated Wale insists the outcome raised more questions than it answered.

He told the Times: “The right thing to do is get the fight back on.

“If Craig Lyon is as good as what people say he is we’ll get it on again.

“People know what I am, I’ll fight absolutely anybody and I’ll do it for free.

“Ricky Hatton, Sky and the Board of Control have all said they’ll get it back on.

“But it’s down to Lyon and I hope he comes and says it was a good fight and we’ll get it on again.

“I just think what needs to be done now before both of us move on with our careers is to see who the best is.

“Let the cuts heal and get it back on.”

Wale felt particularly aggrieved at the decision as Lyon’s cut was far worse than his own and believes that caused the fight to be waved off.

The 22-year-old also bemoaned a lack of luck as the rule governing such a situation only came into force on January 1 this year.

The new ruling says a fight stopped for injury within four rounds it will automatically be declared a technical draw.

In the past, the fight would have gone to the scorecards which Wale believes would have seen him crowned champion.

He said: “If there’s any bad luck flying around in boxing it seems to find me.

“I’m absolutely gutted about it.

“If this had been on in December I’d be English champion now because I was winning that fight.

“I don’t think they stopped it on my cut, they stopped it on his.

“Cuts are part and parcel of my career and I think I’ll always get cut.

“I had the best cut man in the business Mick Williamson in my corner and I know I would have got through a 10 round fight with him.

“Mick helped Ricky Hatton become a brilliant world champion despite getting cut in nearly every fight.

“Lyon was the one with the problem because he was swelling up, his nose was gone and his cut was a lot worse than mine.”

Wale was very confident of getting the better of the undefeated 29-year-old Lyon before the fight and remains so after spending nearly nine minutes in the ring with him.

He said: “I’m even more confident now.

“Don’t get me wrong he’s a good lad but I felt a lot stronger than him.

“I got him wrestling on the ropes and bullied him into that neutral corner even though he was in squat position.

“I think with the age difference between us he thought he could bully me but I just didn’t let him and bullied him back.

“He is a good kid and you;ve got to remember he had won 12 out of 12 before Saturday and nobody wanted to fight him.

“But I went into his back yard and I was winning the fight.”

Wale is also confident he registered a knock down against Lyon despite the referee refusing to count.

Lyon appeared to lose balance after a Wale combination but referee Keane judged it was due to a trip.

But Wale disagreed.

“I thought it was a definite knock down,” he said.

“You know when you’ve hit somebody and he was down.

“If he’s off balance or not, if a punch causes you to go down that’s a knock down.”

Wale plans to get back in the gym as soon as possible and is hoping he will be preparing for a rematch with Lyon.

He said: “It’s difficult after a draw because there are no obvious mistakes you can go and work on in the gym.

“It’s a bit disheartening because it’s neither here nor there as a result.

“But my dad was happy with what I did in there.

“The plan had been to take it easy early on but Lyon wanted a battle so I gave him one.

“Now we just have to wait and see if people are true to their word.”

* FULL FIGHT REPORT APPEARS IN THIS WEEK’S SOUTH YORKSHIRE TIMES