The most successful year of Karl Wheeler’s career came to a satisfying conclusion on Saturday night.
The St Ives Boxing Academy cruiserweight lifted the Fight Cup by stopping Ryan Crawford in the final of the Goodwin Promotions event - afrer only arriving at the York Hall, in London, in the nick of time.
Wheeler, 34, was held up in bad traffic but he certainly hit the fast lane in the ring by twice flooring his younger and less experienced opponent on his way to a sixth-round stoppage.
It was an outcome which earned the Peterborough-based fighter the trophy, a £1,500 prize and a guaranteed shot at the Southern Area title in the new year.
Trainer Steve Whitwell said: “We had a few issues with Karl being stuck in traffic and only making it to the venue with one fight to go before his own.
“The Crawford camp refused to allow the fight to be moved back in the schedule so we only had 15 minutes to warm up, but it didn’t faze Karl in the slightest despite being far from ideal preparation for his biggest fight to date.
“Karl was understandably a bit sluggish in the first round when he went into fight mode rather than using his boxing skills.
“But he started having a lot of joy with the right uppercut, which is something we had worked on in training, and he won a couple of close rounds before putting Crawford down in the fourth.
“His opponent then looked like he’d had enough by the sixth round when Karl dropped him again before launching another attack that left the referee with no option other than to stop the fight.
“I’m delighted for Karl as he has worked so hard to get himself into this position and his Southern Area title shot is richly deserved.”
The Southern Area strap is currently held by Isaac Chamberlain and Whitwell hopes to open discussions with his promoter, Eddie Hearn, over a date for his defence against Wheeler.