Keep it in the family - another storming win in the fairy-tale story of Josh Wale
The Lonsdale belt means everything to Josh Wale, well...almost everything.
For the drive behind his training, dieting and year-round sacrifices emanates from his love for family. They come first. And he dedicates everything to them, his friends and his boxing circle.
Within minutes of a second defence of the British bantamweight title Wale said: “My Dad made me, Stefy saved me” - a reference to Stefy Bull, the trainer who ensures his skill-set matches his heart and will-power.
Wale almost lost his Dad to illness and while Glenn McCrory, former world champion, rightly recognised that “You can see how much the British title means to Josh” - you can also see that he is pursuing his boxing career not for selfish reasons but to make those around him proud.
The back-story that goes into the making Josh Wale is a compelling one.
And at 29, Wale will defend (and hopefully keep) the belt and then move on to the European stage, something few people will have foreseen after any of the nine losses he has on his record.
Wale (now 26-9-2) dropped bubbly challenger Bobby Jenkinson at Ponds Forge, Sheffield with an accurate right hand in the ninth and referee Michael Alexander wasn’t slow in stopping any further damage to a 25-year-old son of Lincoln who then went to hospital later for tests.
Wale’s wife Melissa, who has two sons and one on the way, summed up the family feeling towards him.
“I can’t explain how super proud I am of my wonderful husband...the training and dieting that he has to put in to every camp is unbelievable. He literally dedicates his life to this sport and now the hard work is finally paying off.
“Your boys will be so proud to know Daddy’s still got the belt.
“Only one more to go and the belts for keeps” she wrote on social media.”
Wale is certainly on an upward trajectory after Bull refined his style - less red-mist and more intelligence and patience.
The trainer says: “I would say Josh is now my biggest achievement in boxing he’s no longer the nearly man but now the main man.”
* History was made in that same Sheffield boxing ring on Saturday.
But it was not an event that Loua Nassa will ever treasure.
Crosspool’s Super Flyweight ended up the fall guy as Brad Watson became the first fighter from Guernsey to win an English title.
Watson did it the hard way, as Nassa was prevailing until the Ryan Rhodes fighter went down from a right hand connecting with his jaw.
Nassa, previously unbeaten, survived that sixth round calamity and seemed to be feeling his way back.
But with time running out, Watson did what his trainer had told him to do - take the fight to his man and finish it with a second knock down to avoid the judges.
Watson said: “He is 21, it was make or break for me, but he can come again.”