Promoter Stefy Bull believes bringing the ‘cream of the crop’ back to box in Barnsley will rank among his favourite achievements in the sport.
Professional boxing returns to the Metrodome tonight for the first time in a year with a stacked card featuring former British champions in Brampton’s Josh Wale, Robbie Barrett from Darfield and ex Hard and Fast amateur Andy Townend. The show is expected to be a raucous 1,200 sellout and Bull is hopeful fans will be leaving demanding more regular bills in what he sees as a ‘fighting town’.
Conisbrough-based Bull said: “It is a great event and any one of three fights could headline the show. It’s very good value for money. The whole point of the show was to make it Josh’s homecoming because he is a very proud Barnsley man and he wanted to box in his hometown so much.”
Wale, 30, still gets the opportunity to box but will now face Rafael Castillo from Nicaragua after South African Toto Helebhe’s working VISA was declined. The bantamweight still has plenty to look forward to and is due to head to Vesoul, France, later this month to fight Georges Ory for the vacant European title.
Southpaw Barrett, 26, is hoping for some European silverware himself as he bids to beat Ellesmere Port’s battle-hardened Matty Fagan to the IBF European lightweight title.
Townend, 29, has suffered a late change of opponent with scheduled foe Atif Shafiq, from Rotherham, picking up an injury midweek. Welshman Henry Janes will now step in. Janes has a mixed record of 12 wins, 22 losses and three draws but is unbeaten in three contests and is the reigning Celtic champion at the weight above. There is another title fight on the show with Sheffield’s Kyle Yousaf in with Derby’s Conar Blackshaw for the English flyweight crown.
Bull said: “Robbie’s fight is worthy of topping any bill on a small hall across the country. Matty is a real acid test for Robbie because he got a harsh decision against Joe Murray and won so many amateur titles. With Josh on the bill too, you have the cream of the crop of the last ten years of Barnsley boxing all on one show. It has been stressful to put together but it will be great on the night.”