We still might have not seen the best ever version of Josh Wale, according to his dad and trainer Mick Wale.
Going on Friday night’s evidence, that prediction ought to be an ominous sign for the featherweight division. Wale, 31, took apart Ghanaian Ekow Wilson in just two minutes and 41 seconds at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, with a body shot finishing the fight. Mick feels the featherweight chapter could see his son achieve even more success.
He said: “He wiped him out and the way in which he did it was clinical. He didn’t just take him out with body shots but Josh might only have got hit himself twice. That is credit to Josh because sometimes he can be over eager. We knew we would break him down to the body.
“Wilson was tougher than he looked because he took a lot of quality shots. I am impressed with how Josh went about it. He showed his maturity and his experience and beat a really good opponent. Wilson had a world-class knockout ratio. It could have been a difficult assignment and turned into a war of attrition but Josh ripped up the script.”
Brampton’s Wale was making the step up from super-bantamweight where he had only fought once after enjoying great success at bantamweight where he won and twice defended the British title. It was Wale’s first fight under the promotional banner of Dennis Hobson after an amicable split with former manager Stefy Bull.
With the fight acting as a Commonwealth title eliminator, he secured a shot at former foe Leigh Wood but options are being kept open. Mick is confident Josh will keep impressing now that he is comfortable and strong at the weight. A disappointing defeat to Brad Foster earlier this year has been consigned to the history books as the Wale family look forwards.
Mick added: “To get the benefit of going up in weight, it’s got to be a substantial jump and bantamweight to super-bantamweight is only four pounds. People forget that Josh was nine stone as an amateur when he was 12. It’s incredible to think that.
“Josh can make eight stone six but he can’t fight at eight stone six – he hasn’t got the energy levels. He’s 31 but you’re looking at someone who is basically 25. He’s never had a bottle of beer or smoked. He does nothing except act like a professional.
“Lifestyle decisions end careers. Without a doubt the best Josh is still to come. I agree with Josh that his best days are to come because he’s refreshed. Josh told me to trust him that nine stone was his weight and he has proven that. Every title at featherweight is possible because Josh is an experienced operator.”
Given Wilson’s high knockout ratio (16 from his 18 wins) and the fact that the only men to beat him are his world- rated countrymen Duke Micah and two-time world champion Joseph Agbeko, he was rightly heralded as a dangerman and a risky opponent. Wale made a mockery of Wilson’s impressive record and took him out as though he was a mere novice.
He turned back the clock to earlier in his career by launching into a tirade of body shots which saw Wilson go from confident to capitulation within a round. It was the spiteful and all-action teenage Wale in the ring but he had merged with the composed and accurate seasoned fighter of his British title wins as he delivered one of the best performances of his 41-fight and 13-year long professional career.
Wale chipped away like a lumberjack at Wilson’s body and it was a crunching left which saw the Ghanaian finally crippled with a delayed reaction and counted out by referee Howard Foster. Wale is due to return to the ring at the same venue on September 20.