Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Frank Warren on Warrington: Other Champs Did Not Want To Fight

WE RETURN TO the setting of quite possibly the best atmosphere in English boxing on Saturday when we have the pleasure of staging another Josh Warrington world title fight night in Leeds at the FD Arena.

It is no secret – and both myself and Josh have placed on record – that we were seeking a unification clash for our man after he completed his mandatory obligation with the IBF against Kid Galahad in June.

The simple truth is that we approached all the other champions and they did not want the fight. End of story.

There is nothing you can do to force the champion of another governing body into the ring if they don’t fancy the job. In the case of two of the champions – Oscar Valdez and Leo Santa Cruz – they have opted to head north in weight so that could open things up significantly as the new champions might be more receptive to an invitation to unify.

Unfortunately, the titles have to be won first and these things take time. Playing the waiting game in boxing rarely pays any sort of dividends and I fully intend to keep Josh active and motivated.

He isn’t in this for the short haul and his reign as champion will include mandatories, taking on the highest available contenders in the rankings and unifications. In this case we have drafted in the top available contender with the IBF to fight Josh on Saturday and nobody should underestimate the threat presented by Sofiane Takoucht.

The Frenchman possesses a lot of experience and the only blemishes on his record came on the cards, with two of them highly debatable.

josh-warrington-weights (4)

We have seen enough over recent history on the danger of writing off the underdog. Many of these underdogs can snap back and carry a bit of a bite. Just to state a few obvious ones that spring to mind. Not many people really gave Andy Ruiz jr a prayer against Anthony Joshua in June, while we were ridiculed in some quarters for matching the unbeaten Otto Wallin with Tyson Fury a few weeks back and that one could have gone very wrong.

I’m also pretty sure Gennadiy Golovkin didn’t anticipate getting booed when the result of his fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko was announced at the weekend.

So you have got to be careful. Just because a fighter might not have any marquee names on his record doesn’t mean he cannot fight, especially with the prize of a world title at stake.

Takoucht would probably have been made mandatory by the IBF at some point in the future anyway, but he gets his chance now and Josh has got to get the job done. With his people behind him, as usual, in his local arena Josh will want to put on a show and then we can again assess the landscape with regard to potential unifications.

In support of Josh on the card, Zelfa Barrett will be looking to reinforce his claim to be the No.1 super featherweight in Britain when he makes a defence of his Commonwealth title against the dangerous Jordan McCorry.

Zelfa really seems to have the bit between his teeth to prove he is the best of the British bunch that also includes the domestic champion Sam Bowen and the WBO European champion Archie Sharp.

Having been the most active recently, you would probably say that Archie is edging ahead of the pack, having looked so good in his fight against McCorry and the other weekend at the Albert Hall when he poleaxed Declan Geraghty.

Now it is Zelfa’s turn to make up ground and remind everyone what an excellent operator he is. He has got huge confidence in himself and appears to have taken incredible strength from suffering a setback a year or so ago.

What it all means, later this year and into next, is that we have some fantastic fights there to be made. The one who comes out on top after taking care of domestic duties will be in a great position in terms of tough fights and experience to push on for a world title.

Also thinking big is Zelfa’s gym comrade Lyndon Arthur. He has sort of been the quiet man of the light heavyweight division up to now, but that is about to change when he gets his opportunity to step into the spotlight on Saturday.

‘King Arthur’ challenges for the vacant Commonwealth title against the big-punching Emmanuel Anim and victory will put him right in the light heavyweight mix up with the likes of Joshua Buatsi and, should they remain at light heavy, Willy Hutchinson and Kody Davies.

It is a strong division across the board and, with Anthony Yarde also in our ranks, we are well positioned to make a number of big fights that matter.

It is a stacked card in Leeds and I won’t go through every fight, but I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Henry Wharton-trained light middleweight prospect George Davey to the team, along with 5-0 super bantamweight Shabaz Masoud.

As with virtually all the young fighters we have recently signed up, these two are a bit special and I am looking forward to steering through the learning process and on towards title contention.

BoxNation subscription is £12 per month plus £8 registration fee for Sky TV. €15 per month plus €10 registration fee for ROI Sky TV customers. £11 per month with no registration fee for Virgin Media customers. £12 per month and no registration fee for TalkTalk, Freeview, EE, online and app (iOS, Android, Amazon) customers. No minimum term. 

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Ray* on 10-09-2019

I hope they keep this same energy when stevenson wins that belt.

Comment by GlassJoey on 10-09-2019

The other guys did not want to fight him..... .... for the pittance that I was offering

Comment by Clegg on 10-09-2019

Warrington seems to fight better in the high pressure fights, and he has a physical style that won't age well especially if he goes up in weight, so Warren should take more risks than he usually does (he won't though).…

Top Headlines
A Golden Boy Looks at 60: Lalonde Reflects on 'Sugar' Highs and Money Lows Canelo: We Are Going To Win This Fight By Staying at Home Arum on Fury-Joshua Being Next: That's Up To Wilder and Pulev Klitschko Finds It 'Creepy' That Fury Keeps Discussing 'Sauna' Battle Arum: Ticket Prices Will Need Adjusting Post-Pandemic British Board: No Closed Door Cards Before Lockdown is Lifted Fury: I Was Surprised Wilder Wanted Trilogy, It Must Be For Money Boxing Wives and Girlfriends Association To Donate PPE to Frontline Workers Showtime To Air Boxing Classics, FOTY Battles in April Tyson Fury Accepts The Challenge From Drew McIntyre Lomachenko: After The Fight, I'll Look Into The Eyes of Lopez & His Father! Fury "Disappointed" in Wilder: It Was One of My Easiest Fights! Haney Has Petitioned WBC To Have Fortuna Fight Him, Not Campbell Katie Taylor: If I Come Through Versus Serrano, Fight With Braekhus Is History-Making Khan: If I Let All The Sh-t People Say Get To Me, It Would've Destroyed Me Jacobs: Canelo Was Trickier, But Triple-G Fight Was Probably Tougher Josh Taylor Eyes 140 Lb. Undisputed Status Vs Ramirez, Then Move To 147 Boxing Without Boxing: Roberto Duran vs. Iran Barkley - 02/24/89 Fabiana Bytyqi, WBC Champion, Diagnosed With Coronavirus Ricky Burns Not Ready To Retire, Motivated To Continue Career Dominic Breazeale Confident He Would Knock Dillian Whyte Out Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler - Boxing Classic Turns 33 Lewis Explains Why Holyfield, Not Mercer, is Toughest Career 'Opponent' Berchelt Eager For Valdez, Then Wants Lomachenko Showdown NHS Medical Director Shakes Head at Amir Khan Linking Coronavirus With 5G Rollout Nigel Benn's Brother Dies From Coronavirus Battle Jeff Horn: Pandemic Could Reduce Number of Fights I'll Do Before I Retire Mike Tyson Once Offered Zookeeper $10,000 To Fight Gorilla Pulev To Donate Half His Purse From Joshua Fight To Help Battle Coronavirus WBSS Fantasy Tournament: Sugar Ray Robinson Blasts Winky Wright in Six Robert Garcia Making Most Of Downtime During COVID-19 Crisis GBP Prez: Garcia, Ortiz To Become Breakout Stars, Will Take Adjusting With Schedule Porter: Best Must Fight Best When We Come Back To Contend With NFL, NBA Vergil Ortiz: I Can Stay At Welterweight Another 2-3 Years Andrade: I Would Definitely Love To Take Derevyanchenko Fight Spence's Trainer: Haymon Made Arum, Matchroom Pay Fighters What They're Worth Daily Bread Mailbag - Extra Edition: Pernell Whitaker, Ducked Fighters, More Frank Warren Discusses The Current Trying Time in Boxing Cyborg Says Her Next Fight Might Be in Boxing, Eyes Braekhus Russian Boxing Federation Helping Thousands During Coronavirus Pandemic
Latest Forum Threads