THE FIRST professional boxing show in Barnsley since before the coronavirus crisis is due to take place at the Metrodome tonight.
Hometown boxers JA Metcalfe and Billy Allen will feature on the show promoted by Stefy Bull and Barnsley’s British champion fighter Josh Wale.
Wale said: “It’s massive to be back.
“We have some Barnsley lads on and others from nearby.
“It’s nice to get professional boxing back at Metrodome.
“For me, I boxed there as an 11-year-old kid and I’ve had some great nights there. It’s my best venue.
“To be co-promoter, managing and coaching there is great.
“Hopefully I’ll be doing it for the next 20 or 30 years.
“The show has sold really well and, after a hard time, people are enjoying getting back to normality.
“Everybody has missed nights like this.”
Josh’s father Mick is due in hospital today for an operation, after suffering for years with tumours on his spine, so will not attend the show.
Josh said: “It’s his ninth operation and it’s come at a bad, bad time.
“He’s the boss and oversees everything. It will be hard not just for me but for the lads because he’s the godfather of the gym. But we have to be professional and do the job.
“I am going to drop him off at 7am at hospital then hopefully I will see him when he comes home in the afternoon then I’ll go to the show and do the best job I can.
“It will be a hard day for me because I am very close to my dad.
“He’s my best mate and boxing is something we do together.
“Hopefully I make him proud.”
Welterweight Allen, from Dodworth, drew on his debut in September and is now due to face Stainforth’s Jake Bray.
Wale said: “He’s improved.
“My dad has done a lot of work with him, and so have I.
“There is a lot to consider on your debut, you don’t know what will happen.
“He’s learned from that and we want him to be better and get a win this time.”
Middleweight Metcalfe, from Cudworth, will be hoping to make it three wins from three against Slovakian journeyman Pavol Garaj.
He made his debut at the Metrodome almost two years ago in November 2019 then won in Sheffield in September.
The 20-year-old said: “I am really looking forward to it.
“It’s in my hometown, at the Metrodome where I had my debut.
“It has been two years since I last fought in Barnsley.
“It will be good to be back and hopefully I have a few more fights there next year. The wait during Covid felt like forever but it’s so good to be back.
“Before then, I was training about five times a week but it didn’t feel enough.
“I am training twice a day now, eating well and I feel amazing.
“Hopefully I will get a third win and move on to next year.
“My trainer wants me to have four or five fights in 2022 and maybe get in with a big promoter like Eddie Hearn.
“I just need to get on the radar.”