Josh Wale says his life in and out of the ring has brought him much tougher tests than a knee injury that has ruled him out of tonight's Doncaster Dome show which he was due to headline.

The British champion bantamweight, who turned 30 last week, will attend the event as a cornerman for other fighters after damaging a ligament while running in preparation for a bout with Scotsman Ukashir Farooq.

Since making his professional debut as a teenager in 2006, the former England amateur has dealt with controversial losses, a broken jaw midway through a fight he won, and the crippling tumours on the spine of his father and co-trainer Mick. The gruelling 37-fight journey reached its peak last summer when he won the British title he has always wanted, and Wale knows that anything else he achieves now – with a world or European title shot on his mind – will be a bonus.

Josh said: "I wouldn't say I'm disappointed about the injury because that would take the gloss of what I've achieved. A few years ago I would have been really down about it but I'm the British champion now which is what I always wanted. As soon as I won that title, I told myself I would just enjoy my boxing and my life no matter what happens. The injury might just have been my body telling me I need a rest after some really hard training camps."

Josh may need an operation on his knee but is hoping to be back in action later this year, as he aims to keep the British belt permanently by defending it three times before fighting for a major international title.

Having moved into his 30s, he recognises he is nearing the final phase of his career but believes he is in the form of his life and that issues outside the ring are more likely to force his retirement.

"It won't be me who decides when I stop, it will be my dad. His health is deteriorating and he's had seven operations. He's been my trainer since I was eight and we've won the British title which is all we ever wanted so, when he stops training me, I'll stop. But I think he's got a few more years left yet. I can see myself going on for three years. I have my third son due in May and I want to spend more time with my kids as they get older.

"After Farooq, it's got to be a world or European title fight next, no middle ground. I am British champion and I've defended it with two devastating knockouts. If I get that big fight and win it, then the journey continues, if I lose it then what a journey it's been.

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"I have been around this level for ten years and there is nothing else for me to achieve at this level. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen now."

Wale, who has won his last six fights, is counting on co-trainer and promoter Stefy Bull to get him the biggest fight of his career so far. Bull said: "Josh is in the prime of his career and he could be one fight away from a European or world title fight so we can't afford to rush his recovery from this injury. We are aiming to beat Farooq then look for something really big."