Josh Wale is heading back home. The Brampton fighter made it two wins from two fights as a featherweight with an eight-round points victory against Nicaraguan Sergio Gonzalez at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, on Friday and has now booked himself a date at the Metrodome next year.
The show, on February 21, is due to be broadcast live on FreeSports – bringing the television cameras to Barnsley for the first time in a decade.
Wale will fight again at Ponds Forge on November 29, when he hopes to become a three-weight champion, before topping the bill in his hometown. Referee Mark Lyson scored every round in Wale’s favour against Gonzalez with a 80-72 verdict which confirmed the home man’s superiority in a watchable but one-sided fight.
Given that Wale was campaigning two weights lower, albeit weakened, a year ago, a move up the divisions was questioned by some critics. But Wale is glad to show people that he knows his body better.
“I think I boxed really well and I hit him with good shots,” said the former British bantamweight champion.
“I boxed at a canter really. It was easy and, after I hurt him, he was more hesitant after being up for it early on. “I think the old Josh would have carried on and taken him out but it would have been scrappy.”
Wale is evidently bringing power up with him. He blitzed Ghanaian Ekow Wilson in one round on his featherweight debut in the summer and a right hand in the fifth round rocked Gonzalez and would have unquestionably taken out a lighter man.
Wale added: “My hands are sore because of how hard his head was. “He was a tough guy who had boxed at a higher weight. He was really thickset.
“People find it hard to believe with how experienced I am that I am still improving. I am not the norm but I think my lifestyle has played a big part in my longevity. I am feeling stronger now and I still have more to do at featherweight. I know that I have done Barnsley proud over years but I know there is more to come.”
There was to be no double outing for the Wale brothers this week as Dempsey Wale had to be pulled out of his fight at the eleventh hour with food poisoning.
Dempsey, 23, had been due to box at Rotherham’s Magna Centre on Saturday, 24 hours after his brother Josh had fought in Sheffield. But the debilitating bug hit him hard and he had to spend Friday night in hospital rather than watching Josh.
Josh, who had been due to corner Demspey, said: “My dad Mick made the ultimate decision and it was the right one. Dempsey hadn’t eaten anything yet he was constantly vomiting. He was checked for dehydration and it wasn’t that. We know it wasn’t life or death but it was still a worry that he was in hospital. He didn’t look well and he couldn’t have got in the ring. “He was obviously disappointed but, once the bug has gone, he will be fine.”
Dempsey is due to return to action at the Metrodome on November 23.