Josh Wale has reluctantly chosen to work with a new trainer for the first time in his career of almost 20 years.
The move, away from his dad Mick Wale, has been an enforced one and not by the fighter but by the trainer. Mick, 53, has battled with crippling tumours on his spine for a decade. He has still managed to make it to gym in Wath most days but is now unable to physically train Josh.
He says he knows how to improve his son, 27, as a fighter mentally but can't put it into action due to his illness. Mick decided that Josh needed to move in order to fulfil his potential.
Mick admitted: "I've been struggling for years. I don't want to be the one that holds him back any longer. Me and Josh have such a good relationship. He comes to see me two or three times a day. I was the best man at his wedding and he named his first son after me. But he needed someone else's input."
The choice of a new trainer is someone the Wale family know all about in Mexborough-based Stefy Bull. Bull fought Josh's elder brother Gwyn in 2005 for the Central Area title in what was one of the most memorable scraps in local boxing history.
The rivalry at the time was fierce and the atmosphere on the night at the Doncaster Dome was charged but Mick says all that is now forgotten. He added: "We have got to be grown-ups about things. For me, this was the best move for Josh. It's a logical move just down the road. I feel that I know enough about Stefy to know that they will get on and he will develop Josh as a fighter."
A brave battler, Wale junior has twice fallen short in bids to become British champion and also failed to claim the Commonwealth belt in 2012. A points loss against Leigh Wood back in October forced the decision to move but Josh still had to be talked into it. He said: "Moving trainer is a big thing for me but as soon as I spoke to Stefy I knew that he would be able to embrace the relationship that me and my dad have. He won't work against it.
"In the past my dad's told me to move but I told him then I'd rather pack in. But my dad's got an incurable spinal disease and we needed help with my training. I didn't want to be taking any more out of him than I needed to."
Bull, who also works with fellow Barnsley men Andy Townend (the English champion) and Robbie Barrett (Central Area champion), had a long career as a professional and fought Amir Khan in 2007. He should also be credited for kickstarting the career of now world champion Jamie McDonnell and his twin Gavin, who Josh has fought twice including a draw for the British title.
Bull says Wale has qualities that can't be taught but aims to teach him things missing from his style. Bull is aiming to 'refine Rocky'.
He said: "Mick and Josh are absolutely on the same page as me. It's going to take time to build a relationship with Josh but I've known him for years and I've studied him for two fights against one of my lads.
"Josh is already a great fighter but a fighter is what he is. He's too brave for his own good and fought the best fighters in Europe in their own back yard. We need to rebuild with him but it's very exciting for me."