Gavin McDonnell targets ‘statement’ stoppage against Josh Wale

Gavin McDonnell and Josh Wale
Gavin McDonnell and Josh Wale
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Gavin McDonnell says earning a stoppage against Josh Wale would be the perfect marker of how far he has come.

The Doncaster fighter defends his British super bantamweight crown against his Barnsley foe in Leeds tonight.

And he is looking for what would prove an eye-catching early finish.

Wale has been stopped only twice in his 26 fight career and both occasions saw the referee step in due to severe cuts.

McDonnell was a convincing points winner when the two previously met in a British title eliminator last September.

He admits stopping Wale is unlikely but recognises what message such a feat would send out.

He said: “In an ideal world I’d like to stop him to show how much I’ve come on.

“Being real, he’s not really been stopped with anything but injuries.

“He was stopped against Kid Galahad with a cut and although he was being dominated in that fight he wasn’t getting hurt.

“It’s going to be 12 hard rounds and Josh is going to be there until the end.

“You know you can’t get carried away. If you tire yourself out, he’ll still be there.

“All it takes is for him to put a flurry of punches together and the referee could stop it.

“Neither of us will have come along that much since the last fight.

“But I do think I’m going to out-do him with a bit more style this time.

“It’s going to be a cracking fight again I’m sure. It was worthy of TV.

“I’ve just got to make sure I get the same result.”

Both fighters weighed in one pound below the super bantamweight limit.

Tonight’s bout is McDonnell’s first defence of his British title, won with an explosive sixth round stoppage against the Ingle-trained Leigh Wood in February.

n For live updates on the bout tonight visit www.thestar.co.uk and for a full report see Friday’s Star.