Karl Wheeler twice picked himself up off the canvas to move a step closer to a Southern Area title shot.

The St Ives Boxing Academy cruiserweight earned a points victory over Ossie Jervier in a Fight Cup semi-final thriller at the York Hall, in London, last Saturday

Peterborough-based Wheeler was left crying tears of joy following a draining, 10-round war, but he faces a quick return to ring.

Wheeler now takes on Ryan Crawford in the Fight Cup finale, on December 3, with the winner of that clash earning a crack at the Southern strap held by Isaac Chamberlain.

Trainer Steve Whitwell said: “I predicted a 50/50 fight that could go either way – and that is exactly what it turned out to be.

“Karl showed great heart and resilience to come back from two knockdowns, and everyone saw what the victory meant to him at the end.

“He’ll need to produce a better performance against Crawford and we’ll be back in the gym preparing for that fight next week.

“That is going to be a huge night for Karl. The fight carries a £1,500 bonus as well as the Southern Area title shot.”

Wheeler was dropped to his knee by Jervier late in the third round before a big uppercut sat him down in the next.

But he responded superbly to floor his opponent with a right cross in the fifth before putting himself on top with some smart boxing.

Wheeler then looked to lose momentum in the final two rounds, but he did enough to cling on for a 94-93 verdict.

It was a sixth win in seven fights for the 34 year-old since he returned to the sport in 2014 following a nine-year break.