City boxer Karl Wheeler cried tears of joy after beating Ossie Jerver on points at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday night (October 29).
The Peterborough cruiserweight fought back from the brink to clinch his place in the final of the Fight Cup.
Wheeler out toughed Ossie Jervier in a gruelling fight-of-the-year contender after being close to defeat in the fourth.
Manager Stephen Whitwell revealed he was close to throwing in the towel after Wheeler hit the deck from what the 34 year-old from Hampton described as “a mighty punch.”
Wheeler, who had also taken a knee for an “eight” count in the third, fought his way through the crisis, dropped Jervier in the fifth with a right-hand blast to the jaw and went on to win a ferocious, back-and-forth fight by a single point on the referee’s scorecard, 94-93.
“What a fight,” said Wheeler afterwards.
“(Promoter) Steve (Goodwin) said it was one of the best fights of the year – and they are the fights I want to be involved in.
“I’m in the game to have exciting, 50-50 fights against hungry opponents.
“A lot of fighters would have folded after those two knockdowns, but I got better.
“I bit on my gum shield and got through it and sometimes, that’s what you have to do.
“Everyone knows I can fight now.
“The fight was close and I couldn’t have argued if the decision had gone the other way – or if it had been a draw.
“I’ve had close decisions go against me in my career, so I will take it.”
Wheeler thanked his supporters for helping him through the toughest battle of his 20-fight career, along with mother Mary and fiancée Lisa Watton for selling tickets for the fight, father Presley and children Onri and Summer.
The win takes him through to the final at the York Hall on Saturday, December 3, where he faces Ryan Crawford.
The 29 year old from Uxbridge was handed a bye through to the final after Biloa Kudus withdrew.