Retiring without the British title is just not an option for Josh Wale.
The 26-year-old from Brampton tonight bids to win the famed Lord Lonsdale belt at the second attempt against hometown southpaw James Dickens at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. His determination to become only Barnsley's third ever born and bred British champion still burns as brightly as ever.
The super-bantamweight said: "Most people would be happy with the career I had had if they packed in now, but I'm not. I've wanted to be British champion since I was eight. I'm extremely confident that I'll win it.
"Eighty to ninety per cent of boxers won't get to this level. I'm not scared of anybody. I used to be scared of not performing but I've got past that. I'm just going to enjoy it because I've worked hard to get to this level and I belong here."
Wale believes his tough apprenticeship in the sport is now about to pay off. He added: "I'm a work in progress. I've been adding strings to my bow and people will see that. I've learned on the job with hard fights early on in my career. I could have just boxed dumplings and gone nowhere."
After a contentious draw for the same title in May last year against Gavin McDonnell, Wale was made the mandatory challenger by the British Boxing Board of Control. Standing in his way this time is Dickens. Josh's dad and trainer Mick Wale believes Dickens, 23, has had a fairly sheltered career and will be in for a hard day's night on the Mersey.
He said: "Josh has overcome so much adversity but he is still there and he has still got the desire to be the British champion. "I pulled Josh out of his fight with Galahad, who is their opponent in common. Dickens' trainer didn't have that option because he got knocked out. Dickens has done two ten-rounders apart from that and, experience-wise, he doesn't stand up to Josh. "Dickens hasn't been pushed back in one fight yet but he'll be getting pushed back in this one. If he can't go with it then he's in big trouble."
The fight is being broadcast on Frank Warren's Boxnation channel.