Nothing is confirmed, but it is looking increasingly likely that Josh Warrington and his manager, Steve Wood, are about to be rewarded after months of campaigning. 

Wood and Warrington have been calling for a rematch with Leigh Wood since the Nottingham fighter came back from the brink to stop the two-time featherweight champion in the seventh round of their WBA featherweight title fight last October.

Warrington was hurt but on his feet and ahead on all scorecards when referee, Michael Alexander, stopped the contest. To add to the controversy, the bell to end the round sounded during Alexander’s count and Warrington and his team feel that he should have been given the remainder of the minute’s break to recuperate. 

The frustrating eight-month long wait for news hasn’t dulled Warrington’s enthusiasm for a rematch and it seems like his patience may be about to be rewarded.

It has been rumoured that the fight – which would take place at super featherweight –  could end up headlining the first professional boxing event to take place at Manchester’s new 23,500 capacity Co-op Live arena and happen at some point in August. 

“Finally. It’s been going on since the finish in October 2023,” Warrington’s manager, Wood, said on VIP Boxing’s Bell 2 Bell podcast

“We’ve seen other things and rematches made and this is the best one and nothing was happening. We’ve been told it was happening at Nottingham Forest, then it wasn’t happening. Then it was coming to Leeds but Leigh Wood wouldn’t come to Leeds. We were going somewhere else but Leigh Wood wanted too much money. 

“Finally – nothing’s been done as a date or anything yet because apparently he’s had a little niggle and he’s not been in the gym – but he has accepted terms apparently now. We’re sat here waiting for a date.”

It may not have been a coincidence that matters accelerated last week. Jack Catterall and Josh Taylor spent the week in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds ahead of their own eagerly awaited rematch and the event served as a timely reminder as to just how popular all-British grudge matches are with British boxing fans.

Promoters generally over- rather than underestimate how popular events will be but Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn seemed almost taken aback by the level of animosity and interest Taylor-Catterall II generated when it was announced earlier this year and the fight could have sold double the amount of tickets had it been made sooner.

The controversial ending to the first fight between Wood and Warrington has turned what started out as a professional rivalry into something more and it seems like everybody involved has realised that it is time to press ahead and make the return before public interest wanes and the heat between the two fizzles out.

“It’s dragging on and there’s been a lot of words said between Josh and Leigh Wood which is a shame really because it doesn’t need that sort of build up that seems to help sell fights because it’s a great fight,” Wood said. “Obviously, Leigh Wood thinks he’s not being given enough respect from Josh because he knocked him out and Josh is only talking about what he was doing to him before he was knocked out, whereas what really matters is that he was knocked out. 

“Let’s just hope it gets done because both of them aren’t the youngest are they? Josh is 33 and Leigh is 35. Don’t drag it on any longer, Leigh. You’ll be getting your pension soon. Let’s get it done.”