By Frank Warren
IF YOU ARE not able to come along to Leeds’ magnificent FD Arena in person on Saturday evening, then I urge you to tune in early to BT Sport or BoxNation because we have got a good few certs on the card.
By that I don’t mean there are any guarantees over who will win the televised fights, simply that we have some banker blockbusters in the offing and you shouldn’t miss a hit.
Naturally, Josh Warrington is the headline attraction in his home city in what is, by far, the most important fight of his career against the also unbeaten Dennis Ceylan.
So the stakes are very high for Josh and, to use an old boxing analogy, Ceylan is the gatekeeper and he’s got to get through the Dane to ensure the prospect of taking on Lee Selby for the IBF featherweight title becomes a reality.
Another carrot being dangled in front of Josh is a potential mega-clash with Carl Frampton next year so, if he wins this one, he could be spoilt for choice.
The fight against Ceylan has got a semi-final feel to it because, as much as this is a great opportunity for Josh, the same applies to Ceylan because they are chasing the same prize.
Ceylan is not coming over to make up the numbers – as I always say – he is coming over to fight. It is a huge chance for him, he has got a great payday coming here and if he wins it will be him in pole position.
It is a tough one for Josh, but we believe he has got what it takes. His dad Sean tells me he is looking really good in the gym so I am looking for a big performance from him.
One thing that is never lacking with Josh is heart and he will be in there attempting to realise his dream in front of his own people.
We don’t hide from the fact that there have been a few problems of late with crowds in boxing, the most recent resulting in a tragic incident in Walsall at the weekend.
I like to think with the Leeds fans that, while they are boisterous, they are real boxing people who get behind their man. They support him in huge numbers and are a credit to Josh and to themselves.
No doubt this it will continue in the same way.
Josh is far from the only show in town on Saturday night and plenty has been written and said about the chief support between British super lightweight champion Tyrone Nurse and his young challenger Jack Catterall.
It might not be one that will catch fire straight away and it could be a bit cat and mouse for a few rounds, but I am expecting a high quality contest between two of the top operators in the division.
On the subject of top operators, it is a description that also fits our young and supremely talented super featherweights Zelfa Barrett and Lyon Woodstock.
Both of them are stepping it up on Saturday, with Zelfa challenging for the vacant English title against Chris Conwell and Lyon going for the vacant WBO European belt against Craig Poxton.
The two of them are a joy to watch and I am expecting big things from them. I look at Zelfa and Lyon and think, if they both keep winning, what a fight that is going to be down the line.
Josh Warrington isn’t the only local lad on the title trail and I am sure his fans will be in their seats early to catch the British title eliminator at super welterweight between JJ Metcalf and Leeds’ Damon Jones.
It has the makings of a proper fight that should set the mood for the evening, one where we hope the winners will be the fans, because that is our ultimate goal with all the cards we put on.
It is a night not to be missed, so I fully recommend either turning up or tuning in.
I UNDERSTAND that the funeral of former world middleweight champion Terry Downes will be a private one for family and close friends only but there will be a celebration of his life which takes place on this Friday (October 20) at the Noke Hotel, St Albans, Herts, AL2 3DS, from, at 6pm.
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