Josh Wale fainted following a surprise blood test the day before his controversial loss for the European title while a ‘career-threatening cut’ was not treated by doctors for hours after the contest.
The 30-year-old bantamweight from Brampton suffered a nightmare trip to France where he lost the title fight in Vesoul on Friday evening to Georges Ory on a majority decision.
Josh’s promoter and co-trainer Stefy Bull says that, after arriving at their hotel at midnight on Wednesday evening, they were woken up at 8am on Thursday morning – the day of the weigh-in – and told by employees of the French promoter that Wale needed to have a blood test.
Bull said: “I tried to refuse it. I had all of his blood test results with me and I knew he didn’t need another one. But they said ‘no blood test, no fight’ and Josh was determined to fight. They drove us for an hour in a cramped little car to a lab where Josh had two files of blood taken out of his arm. On the way back, Josh fainted in the car. Only for a few seconds, but he went white and he wasn’t well.
“He couldn’t eat or drink to get his strength up again because we had the weigh-in at 7pm that night. It was crazy.Josh never moaned about it but it dramatically affected him mentally and physically during the fight.”
One of the three judges scored the contest level with the other two giving Ory the win by scores of 116-114 and 115-113. Bull said: “We all know that, if you fight abroad, you have to win comfortably to get the decision from the judges. Josh landed the better punches throughout the fight but there more than 1,000 French fans there cheering every punch Ory threw and I think the judges were swayed by that.
“I think Josh won that fight and I can’t believe that one judge gave seven rounds to Ory. Even a blind man could see that’s wrong and there is no way on this Earth Josh lost seven rounds. Josh was on the front foot for the whole fight and landed a lot of good bodyshots. I am not saying he won it by a wide margin, but he won it.
“Some of the crowd booed the decision and the French fans gave Josh a standing ovation as he walked out which meant a lot to him. It was like a Rocky movie when he turns the home crowd.”
Josh sustained a severe cut above his eye during a clash of heads in the second round. Bull said the doctors at the show refused to treat the wound until the last fight finished at 12.45am – two hours after Wale’s contest ended – then said it was a superficial cut.
Bull said: “We knew it wasn’t a superficial cut but all we could do was put some butterfly stitches on it. There was no post-fight medical which is unbelievable after a 12-round European title fight. We spent all Saturday travelling then he went to Barnsley Hospital on Sunday and waited for seven hours to see a specialist who gave him eight stitches.
“The cut was just above his eye and was definitely career-threatening.”
Robert Smith, the general secetary of the British Boxing Board of Control has written to his French counterparts for an explanation for the blood test and lack of treatment for the cut.
Bull said: “From start to finish, how we were treated was absolutely disgusting. In their words, they did everything they could to make sure their man won. In our words, they cheated.”
Bull is not sure which direction Wale will go in now. He said: “Josh needs a rest, a bit of time to think things over with his family, then we’ll reassess in the New Year. He has had an absolutely barn-storming career, he’s won the British title and he’s one of Barnsley’s best ever fighters.
“He’s 30 years old now with a young family so he needs to think about things but, if he wants to carry on, I believe he can still fight at European title level.”