Josh Wale admits he must beat Gavin McDonnell to maintain his status as the go-to guy for credible title defence.
The Brampton-Bierlow fighter has fought some of the top domestic names in the bantam and super bantamweight divisions over the last few years, including Stuart Hall and Sheffield’s Kid Galahad.
But he heads into Saturday’s ‘derby’ with Dunscroft’s McDonnell at Doncaster’s Dome knowing the future direction of his career rests on the outcome. “I know I’ve got to win on Saturday” Wale told the Star.
“Gav’s a very good fighter and he’s done incredibly well in such a short space of time. But he’s not at the level I am and it’s my job to keep him away. If he was to win, people would start looking at him for title fights and I’d have to convince them all over again that I’m a worthy contender. The thing is though, he won’t be winning - I’m sure of that.”
Wale goes up against unbeaten McDonnell - twin brother of IBF world champion Jamie - in a final eliminator for the British super bantamweight title, currently held by Galahad. Wale feels he did not do himself justice when facing Galahad for the WBC international title last year, with the fight stopped due to swelling of the 25-year-old’s eyes. And he is desperate to put things right.
He said: “This is going to be a special fight. It’s Barnsley v Donny, a 50-50 fight and the atmosphere will be incredible.
“But the prize at the end of it is the biggest thing. I’m not looking past Gavin but I want to fight Galahad again. I’ve definitely got the beating of Gavin and I know I’ve got what it takes to beat Galahad. I’m not letting this chance slip.”
Opponent McDonnell, 27, aims to complete a three year rise from debutant to British title challenger. He has a British title eliminator win to his name after stopping Sheffield’s Ross Burkinshaw.