Josh Warrington upset the odds in emphatic style earlier this year, wrenching the 126lb title from Lee Selby’s grip in front of a passionate crowd at Elland Road – the home of his beloved Leeds United – to become the city’s first-ever boxing world champion.
It was a magnificent performance from the undefeated 27-year-old, one that former super-bantamweight and featherweight king Carl Frampton had a front row seat to enjoy.
The Belfast brawler was working ringside with BT Sport as Warrington lifted the belt via the judges' scorecards in split decision win that seemed to flatter the visiting Selby.
“I think he [Warrington] won pretty convincingly,” Frampton told BT Sport this week.
“I had him well in front.”
Despite admitting he favoured Selby in the run-up to the fight, the Northern Irishman claimed Warrington’s unexpected victory had given him confidence ahead of his own showdown with ‘The Warrior’ on December 22.
“It was a good performance. I knew Selby was struggling for the weight but I didn’t realise how much he was struggling,” Frampton continued.
“Josh will be getting confidence from that performance and so will his fan base. I’m looking at that fight thinking Lee Selby was severely malnourished making that weight, he was dead.
“I would have been looking to get rid of him. I’m pretty sure the shape Selby was in I would have stopped him.
“I’m taking confidence from that fight myself as he couldn’t get rid of a malnourished Lee Selby.”
But champion Warrington, 27-0 (6 KO) claimed he was in cruise control during the contest and saw no need to chase a knockout against the visiting Welshman.
“I do feel that I didn’t get out of second gear as much in the Selby fight, even though it was a dominating display,” he said during an exclusive chat with BT Sport.
“I feel like we were just cruising and doing what we had to do to win. There were times when I wanted to go up a gear and try new things but my old fella in in the corner just said: ‘Listen, you’re doing everything perfect, stay with it.’
“I’ve got out the ring thinking ‘I’ve not even given everything I’ve got’ - and that’s why I do believe I’ll go on and beat the likes of Carl. I believe I can go on to unify the division because I’m underrated.
“Everyone seems to think they’ve seen the best of me in previous fights like Kiko Martinez or Hisashi Amagasa but I don’t think they touched the sides of what I can do. I still think I’ve got levels to bring.
“On December 22, I’ll do what I have to do to win.”
Warrington vs Frampton will be the third huge pay-per-view world title card to air on BT Sport in just four months after September's historic Canelo vs GGG 2 showdown and the upcoming mega-fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
Details of pricing and when the Warrington vs Frampton buy window opens will be announced on BTSport.com and at bt.com/sportboxoffice closer to the time.