A NEW chapter in Barnsley boxing begins on February 11 as the town hosts its first major show in two years.
And the Wombwell-based stable headed by trainer Mick Wale is leading the charge.
Wale’s son Gwyn is headlining the nine fight card at Barnsley Metrodome on his return to the ring with four other members of the group also set for outings.
And the senior Wale is confident his fighters can cause a stir in the town.
“We want to spark some interest in boxing in Barnsley and I think we’ve got the lads to do that,” he told the Times.
“We don’t want kids in our gym who are only in it for the money.
“We want ambitious kids who want to go as far as they can in boxing.
“The promoter Carl Greaves has been excellent with us and we’re really confident we can do things as a group of fighters with him as manager and promoter.
“If this show goes well then we’ll be seeing regular shows in Barnsley.
“We want a low profile start and build from there, proving ourselves along the way.”
Gwyn Wale will make his first appearance in a boxing ring for more than four years, determined to fulfil the potential he showed as a young professional.
The 26-year-old will meet Jason Nesbitt who he previously beat in 2004, a fight dad Mick describes as a second debut.
He said: “It’s going to be like starting all over again with Gwyn.
“He’s a different fighter and he’s got more determination than ever.
“He lost his way with it before and got disillusioned and I think he got too much too soon with being on television.
“But he’s back now and in the right frame of mind to tackle it.
“He knows time is not really on his side and he’s hungry.”
The Nesbitt fight respresents a chance for Gwyn to shake off the ring rust which has gathered over his four years out of the sport.
But dad Mick insists he will also demonstrate a more calmer approach.
He said: “I think he can be better this time around than he was before because he’s a lot calmer fighter.
“He was out and out aggression in the main before but now he’s more composed.
“He’s always had the ability to box, he showed that with the titles he won as an amateur.
“Now he’s settled down and he’s showing he can box.”
Another fighter from the Wale gym making a return to the ring is Neil Dawson, the unbeaten Thorpe Hesley cruiserweight.
Like Wale, Dawson became disillusioned with the sport and drifted away but is ready to make a return.
Mick said: “He won all his eight fights and looked a really decent prospect but he just fell out with the sport.
“I think kids who pack it in after doing so well as amateurs or when they were young professionals always feel they have a bit of unfinished business.
“That’s the case with Gwyn and it’s the case with Neil Dawson.
“They usually settle down and have kids and it gives them a new perspective.
“It makes them really determined to fulfil the potential they showed in the past.
“We’re really excited about what he can do.”
Dawson takes on Mark Lewis while new stablemates Matthew Mallin and Ross Blackwell take on Ryan Clark and Anthony Hanna respectively.
Stairfoot fighter Mallin forced his opponent to retire on his debut outing while Wombwell’s Blackwell made a sensational start to his career with a stoppage inside two minutes.
But Wale is predicting tougher outings this time around for his men.
He said: “Matthew won’t steamroller through Ryan Clarke like he did his first opponent.
“Ryan comes to fight every time and it’ll be a great test for Matthew.
“Ryan’s record doesn’t do him justice and it’s a good fight for Matthew to have.
“It’s the same with Ross against Anthony Hanna, who’s another tough opponent.
“Ross will have to take it a round at a time and show what he can do.”
A prize awaits Wombwell’s Neil Beevers should he see off Danny Dontchev.
Beevers has progressed well in his five fights so far and Wale has lined up a British Masters title bout for the light middleweight if he beats the experienced Dontchev.
Wale said: “Neil’s an exciting fighter and he’s picked up a lot of fans over his five fights.
“A British Masters title fight will be a massive boost for his confidence.
“We know what to expect from Neil. An Area title would be a brilliant achievement for Neil and he’d be over the moon with that.
“If all boxers were as dedicated as Neil is we’d have some top class fighters.
“And that dedication could push Neil to an English title and that would be a massive achievement.”
Tickets for the February 11 show are available from www.carlgreavespromotions.co.uk.