Barnsley boxer Josh Wale is gunning for a world title shot and would have hung up the gloves if he felt he wasn’t worthy and capable of securing one.
The Brampton featherweight, 31, is hoping for no slip-ups in his pursuit of the dream belt as he returns to action tonight at the Metrodome. He takes on Tanzania’s Iddi Kayumba in a ten-round title fight in which he hopes to further cement his credentials in a new division and build on the momentum of his last performance which saw him beat formidable Ghanaian Felix Williams in November.
“The last fight was massive. I needed to know where I was against a guy everyone had avoided,” said Wale.
“It was a hard fight and he had a cracking first round but I proved what I had left. I just have to keep winning and performing. There can be no slip-ups now. “If I didn’t feel like I do, I wouldn’t still be doing it. My aim is to box for a world title. Dennis Hobson (promoter) has got massive experience and has done it for Jamie McDonnell and Stuart Hall.
“He wants to do it again. “The last fight was everything rolled into one. I know now that I can box for a world title and the phone will ring if I keep performing. People less deserving than me have had a world title shot.”
Kayumba is a 22-year-old rangy southpaw from Tanzanian capital Dar-es-Salaam. He has won 12 of 16 with his most notable fight being against Brit Prince Patel in Egypt – where he was stopped in the fifth round. Wale is considerably more experienced with this being his 44th professional outing and him chasing win number 31.
“He is a tall southpaw but, if I’m being honest, I have operated at a couple of levels above him. You don’t look past anybody in boxing, though. I feel like I am punching really hard at featherweight and that is key to my longevity. I have taken the power with me and always respected my sport. I’ve never had to cut loads of weight. It’s the most active I have been in my career and I am going from camp to camp – that’s great for me.”
The show, promoted by Sheffield’s Hobson, will see the TV cameras back in Barnsley for the first time in more than a decade with it being broadcast on FreeSports. Wale added: “It’s great that it’s back in Barnsley. I have flown the flag for Barnsley for so long and I’m sure I’ll be handing it on in the next couple of years but I am still the top man. It’s a big thing for me to fight in my hometown. All the fans come out for it and I am proud to say that I know everyone who buys a ticket from me.
“The same people have been coming to watch me for 13 years. To have a following like that, I must be doing something right. They’re all from Barnsley and the surrounding areas. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and have never given up. “I think people like that.”
A heavyweight dust-up between Kash Ali and Kamil Sokolowski will be chief support for Wale. There will also be a number of rising prospects on the card including German female fighter Cheyenne Hanson – who makes her UK debut after winning six fights in Europe.