Barnsley boxer in title tilt against revenge-minded Manchester foe

Ben Wager, left, in action in Barnsley soon
Ben Wager, left, in action in Barnsley soon

Barnsley light welter Ben Wager will be up against a fighter hell-bent on revenge a week on Friday.

Wager, (11-7-1) hosts a re-match against Kofi Yates (11-1) for the Central Area title at Barnsley Metrodome. Wager, 25, is coming off a loss, he was beaten by Kevin Hooper at the venue in March. Mancunian Yates, 23, suffered his single defeat to Wager in 2009 and wants to avenge his loss at iceSheffield.

Yates, who beat local scrapper Lee Connelly this year, will face a South Yorkshireman who has been sparring with unbeaten Scott Cardle, the British lightweight champion. Yates has also had a strong training camp and says a win in Barnsley should propel him up to the top 15 in the rankings.

Referring to his defeat against Wager, Yates said: “Because it came so early on in my career, it hasn’t been a major factor for me. If I lose again, it will send me right back to the beginning. No disrespect to Wager but I had to lose six pounds on the day and I only weighed in an hour and a half before the fight. I wasn’t taking the fight too seriously and I’ve learnt that I need to have more professionalism” he told

Yates recognised that Wager has trained for ten rounders before while he himself has never gone longer than four.

“He’s been at that level for a bit now but as everybody knows that have seen me spar, I come on strong after four, five, six rounds. I think that’s my style.”

The Roses clash has all the hallmarks of an outstanding contest: footballer turned boxer Curtis Woodhouse tweeted: “I commentated on their first fight, a four rounder in Sheffield, it was a cracker.”

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