Josh Wale says he is a man on a mission this year, as he prepares to do battle on February 21 and – hopefully – move himself one step closer to a dream world title shot.
The Barnsley favourtite (pictured with trainer, and dad, Mick) will headline in his home town at the Metrodome, taking on Tanzania’s Iddi Kayumba, before moving onto a slated June date at the same venue, which could potentially involve a world title eliminator contest.
The former British Bantamweight champion has looked impressive after moving up to featherweight, and picked up the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) International Title in his last fight, in November. The 43-fight veteran says his career has been rejuvenated after teaming up with promoter Dennis Hobson, and is hoping the Sheffield fight figure can move him onto the world scene like he has done previously with the likes of Jamie McDonnell, Clinton Woods and Stuart Hall.
Wale, 31, knows that he cannot afford a slip up against unheralded Kayumba though, and is aware that complacency could be his biggest foe ahead of the bout. The African has lost just twice in 16 bouts, with seven of his wins coming by KO. A southpaw, he has only fought outside his home country once previously, losing in five rounds to Britain’s Prince Patel for the African Boxing Union Bantamweight Title in Cairo, last August.
Chief support for the show is an all-Yorkshire heavyweight clash as Rotherham’s Kash Ali and Halifax’s Josh Sandland go head to head.
“I never think too much about my opponents, I just go in and do my job,” said Wale. “My last opponent had a great record, he was a really strong opponent with a puncher’s record, but I didn’t really look at him before the fight, to be honest. My dad is my coach, and he tells me what he thinks I should do, and I just go in and do it. I’m at the stage of my career now, I’ve been boxing since I was 11 and I’ve seen every style. It’s about me now and if I turn up, I’m a handful for anybody if I turn up and am in the right frame of mind.
“The biggest problem could be complacency, and I’ve had it at different stages of my career. Dennis is trying to work me towards a world title fight, he offered Josh Warrington’s last opponent [Sofiane Takoucht] good money for this fight, but he turned it down. We were messing about for weeks and came to the stage where we had to get the opponent in, because this is a homecoming show for me. So, I can’t be complacent, I’ve got to go in and perform and, to be fair, my last performance could have been the performance of my career. I’m a man on a mission this year.”
Dennis Hobson Promotions presents an evening of boxing on February 21st at the Barnsley Metrodome. Headlining will be Barnsley’s Josh Wale against Tanzania’s Iddi Kayumba.
Appearing on the undercard will be Rotherham’s Kash Ali; Sheffield’s Sufyaan Ahmed, Keanen Wainwright and Perry Howe, and Germany’s Cheyenne Hanson.
For ticket information, call 0114 243 4443.
(Photo credit: Barnsley Chronicle)