Josh Wale: It’s my time

Josh Wale
Josh Wale

My time is now - that is the message Josh Wale has sent to British title rival James ‘Jazza’ Dickens ahead of their clash tonight in Liverpool.

Wale is primed and ready for his second shot at the British super bantamweight title after a hard fought draw with Gavin McDonnell last May.

Should he walk away from the Echo Arena clutching the Lord Lonsdale belt, the Brampton fighter will have achieved what he was tipped for in the early days of his pro career.

While he has endured frustrating times along the way, he feels his tussles with the likes of McDonnell, Kid Galahad and Stuart Hall have left him in the ideal position to claim a dream British crown on Friday.

“Plenty of people thought I was going to be British champion by the time I was 21,” Wale told the Times. “But it didn’t happen.

“I was off like a shot, blitzing kids and being talked about as one of the hottest prospects in the country.

“But I’ve had a few problems along the way. I’ve got three plates in my jaw and a surgically repaired knee which tells the story.

“For a long time I wasn’t boxing to my full potential. I don’t like making excuses but I didn’t turn down fights that I really should have with the condition I was in.

“The two fights that disappoint me the most were the ones with Galahad and Hall. They are two top kids and I didn’t come close to my best in either fight because I had these little niggles.

“But I’ve learned a lot from both of those fights and all the fights I’ve had. With each one, you learn something new.

“Now I feel like I’m a much more rounded boxer and it’s coming at the ideal time.

“I felt like I did enough to beat McDonnell last year but it’s shown how close I am.

“My time is now - I know it is.”

The 26-year-old has known he would be facing Dickens for the British title since last August and has enjoyed the longest uninterrupted training camp of his career to date.

He admits in the past he would have spent the last few months piling pressure upon himself to get the job done on Friday night.

But Wale insists he will walk onto Liverpool’s docks feeling relaxed.

He said: “I’ve always put a lot into my boxing, I live and sleep it.

“But I think in the past I’ve probably put too much into it and felt too much pressure going into the fight.

“It wasn’t so much nerves but that massive amount of pressure to succeed.

“That’s one of the big things I’ve learned. Going in there relaxed is the best thing you can do. You don’t over-think things and end up doing something stupid.

“The pressure will be on Jazza. He’s in his own backyard and I’m sure most people are expecting him to win.

“I’m just going over there to upset a few thousands Scousers.”