IN six weeks, Jez Wilson will be awarded a gift so precious it is beyond comparison.
That’s when he and wife Tina will celebrate the arrival of their first born.
But, for now, clinching the Central Area Middleweight Championship belt is just fine for Jez to be going on with.
“This is like a world title for me,” says the super-fit scrapper who has a ‘proper job’ as a Fire Brigade crew manager at Darnall.
“I had thought about retiring during the times when opponents have cancelled on me but all that frustration, effort and sacrifice has been worth it.”
Up against a taller, younger, more skilled boxer with a seriously long reach, Wilson had only one game-plan - to get in close, work incessantly and club Liam Cameron from the inside.
That he did, with Cameron unable to impose his own strengths, eventually running out of steam and losing on points.
“If I had tried to box him I’d have had it, so I knew I had to outwork him,” explained Wilson.
“I couldn’t afford to leave him alone for a second or he’d pick me off. He is strong, but I felt stronger over the 10 rounds. But Liam is a smart boxer and will go a long way. Me? I will be nappy-changing in a few weeks’ time!”
Cameron, aged 21, started off as though his name was already on the title.
The part-time male model looked good as he used his 6ft 3in frame to jab away at his on-coming rival who is six inches smaller.
That first round, Wilson’s 40th in the sport since turning pro in 2007, was a lesson the 33-year-old was quick to learn from.
He came out much busier in the second and went looking for the body.
Cameron always moves well in the ring and kept darting from side to side to avoid the rushes. The Manor Park man was quicker and more polished, yet it soon became clear he wasn’t going to move forward in any concerted way.
By round four his jab was struggling to keep the Crosspool warrior off him and an ugly mark was appearing under his left eye.
Cameron refused to accept the obvious, that his opponent was getting the upper hand, and shook his head in contempt after one particular barrage in the fifth.
The middle of the absorbing contest saw Wilson go for a series of combination shots as he tried to pin the ‘Cannonball’ to the ropes.
Occasionally, the aggressor would get tagged on the way in, but it had no significant effect.
In the final round, Cameron’s
trainer, Clinton Woods, and promoter Dennis Hobson were left pleading with their man to come on to Wilson and try to force a stoppage, but that exposure only made him vulnerable to a couple of right hands.
All that was left was for referee Michael Alexander to award Wilson a 97-95 victory which he will cherish for the rest of his life.
Wilson said: “Clinton said to me that he hated losing but that if his man had to lose, then he was glad it was to me. That showed the quality of the man. I wish him and Liam well for the future.”
Cameron said he had no complaints although he felt he may just have done enough to have sneaked a result.
“He is strong, but not as strong as people said and he never hurt me once,” he said.
“It was close, but I moved around too much in the early rounds and that had an effect. Now it is time for some rest and then back in the gym and start working hard again.”
There was no rest for Smoking Jez Wilson.
Saturday’s battle for bragging rights finished around midnight and eight hours later he was back workingg for Green Watch for South Yorkshire Fire Service.
His trainer, Glyn Rhodes, said: “He did everything absolutely spot on. Five years of hard work and dedication has given him the title he deserves. He’s a great bloke and a lot of people are very proud of him.”
On the undercard on the Hobson show, Dronfield middleweight Lewis Taylor looked the pick of the bunch with a decisive points win over Kieron Gray.
Muscular and mobile Barnsley light-welterweight Ben Wager outpointed Johnny Greaves.
Sheffield-light middleweight Ryan Hardy overcame Jason Nesbit. The only stoppage saw Lincoln welterweight Steven Swinburn TKO Sheffield’s Monsoor Wali.
Others: Lightweight Jamie Sampson beat Graham Fearn and bantamweight Hassan Ahmed beat Delroy Spencer. Former English champion Femi Fehintola beatt Kristian Laight at lightweight.