Josh Wale living the dream after finally winning British title

Josh Wale lifts the British bantamweight title to the delight of trainer and manager Stefy Bull. Picture: Dean Woolley

As a kid Josh Wale promised his dad he would one day bring him a British title. On Saturday night he finally delivered.

In the same venue in which he made his professional debut 11 years earlier, Wale at last got his hands on the Lord Lonsdale belt.

Jamie Wilson stoops to avoid a shot from Josh Wale. Picture: Dean Woolley

Tears were shed, hugs were long and strong. It had been a long time coming and the journey has been far from easy.

On two previous occasions the Barnsley fighter had come up short. The dream title triumph which one of the sport’s most dedicated servants craved looked set to evade him.

The underdog in his two previous challenges, Wale finally found himself in the position of favourite, standing in the home corner to face Scotland’s Jamie Wilson in the main event of a cracking Stefy Bull show at The Dome in Doncaster.

Yet it was not to be an easy night for the likable 29-year-old. In fact debate continues to rage whether he had actually done enough to claim the unanimous points decision he received.

Josh Wale exchanges shots with Jamie Wilson. Picture: Dean Woolley

It is somewhat a shame that after the ups and downs of his career, some will place a question mark on the crowning achievement which saw him become only the fourth Barnsley man in history to win a British title.

This writer however did have Wale clear at the end, with his work the cleaner overall. Much clearer than the two scorecards which gave him the fight by 115-114 and closer to Michael Alexander's 116-112 verdict.

Wilson fought a very good fight and would certainly be worthy of a rematch. Surely a promoter with a television deal would be willing to give a slot to a such a return after the quality of the first.

Wale had looked set to dominate after a brilliant second round performance where he boxed at distance and showed tremendous accuracy with the right straight in particular.

The moment Josh Wale finally realised his dream of becoming British champion. Picture: Dean Woolley

To Wilson’s credit, he learned his lesson and never let Wale have that space again. Hie best work came on the inside, when he forced Wale back onto the ropes and roughed him up.

It left the Barnsley fighter caught between two stools, unsure whether to push forward or stay at distance. This mental quandary has effected him in the latter years of his career as he looks to transition away from the all-guns-blazing style which characterised his early career.

Both men were cagey yet enjoyed profitable periods, ensuring the pattern of the fight went back and forth.

What tipped the tight affair in Wale’s favour was a good string of rounds in the final straight where his accuracy was the superior.

Josh Wale catches Jamie Wilson with a straight right hand. Picture: Dean Woolley

He will need to be better and more sure of himself when defences come but all that matters right now is that Wale will go down in history as British champion.

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