Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Josh Warrington To Return Feb. 13; Xu Can Title Unification Bout Eyed For Springtime

Josh Warrington's 2021 campaign will include a showdown with Xu Can, just not in his very next fight.

An announcement in the coming days from Matchroom Boxing will include the unbeaten IBF featherweight champ as part of its first quarter schedule, though no longer in a title unification bout, promoter Eddie Hearn informed BoxingScene.com on Wednesday. Warrington will remain the main event slot of a February 13 show which leads a loaded schedule in the weeks to come.

“We’ve been working hard with Robert Diaz and Golden Boy to get this fight made but we are going to have to wait a little longer,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com.

An opponent for Warrington is expected to be finalized in time for Matchroom’s UK schedule reveal on Friday.

Warrington (30-0, 7KOs) has not fought since a 2nd round wipeout of Sofiane Takoucht atop an Oct. 2019 show in his hometown of Leeds, England. The long-reigning featherweight titlist has since signed with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing outfit, with his intended debut to have come in a two-belt unification clash with China’s Xu (18-2, 3KOs) only for such plans to be delayed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

While the sport as a whole has since resumed, the ability to stage events in front of live crowds remains an issue. Just one such show has taken place in the United Kingdom, with unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua scoring a 9th round knockout of Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev with fans in attendance in their Dec. 12th clash at SSE Arena, Wembley.

Another lockdown has since come in the U.K., wiping out all scheduled bouts in January. The British Boxing Board of Control has since declared that boxing events can resume beginning in mid-February, prompting Matchroom to put its best foot forward in delivering a block of shows.  

A fight between Warrington and Xu was intended to lead things off but will instead move towards Matchroom’s springtime schedule. The slight delay should work in favor of the fight becoming an event, given Warrington’s massive drawing power in his home region.

“After we brought fans back in December, we hoped we would be in a position to have attendance for this fight and it deserves it,” notes Hearn. “After a long layoff Josh will still return on Feb 13 and if victorious will hopefully face Xu in April or early May.”

Warrington has won the IBF featherweight title following a 12-round decision over Lee Selby in front of a sold-out hometown crowd at Elland Road Football Ground in Leeds. Three defenses have followed, most notably a competitive but clear 12-round nod over former two-division titlist Carl Frampton in Dec. 2018. The win was followed by a hard-fought split decision victory over unbeaten Kid Galahad in June 2019 before proceeding to stop Takoucht inside of two rounds later that October.

Xu has not fought since a 12-round decision victory over Manny Robles III in Nov. 2019. The free-swinging volume puncher from Beijing has made two defenses of the secondary WBA title he wrested in a points win over Jesus Rojas in Jan. 2019. Hopes of an upgrade to WBA “Super” featherweight title status reside on the sanctioning body forcing the hand of Leo Santa Cruz, who still retains that belt despite not having fought at the weight since Feb. 2019.

Warrington and Xu are the first and third highest ranked active featherweights according to RingTV.com, ESPN.com and TBRB.com.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by tokon on 01-17-2021

[QUOTE=harry-greb;21020798]I guess we'll just have to wait and see[/QUOTE] Haha, just as we're posting about this stuff, there's an article on BScene it! However will admit to being sceptical about him giving up a title to fight Russell, particular as…

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 01-16-2021

[QUOTE=harry-greb;21020798]I guess we'll just have to wait and see[/QUOTE] Warrington has found reasons and excuses to not fight either Shakur Stevenson or Gary Russell. So it seems he has a history of avoiding the tough fights.

Comment by harry-greb on 01-16-2021

[QUOTE=tokon;21020584]Russell has called for, and made himself available, for those bigger fights - including Warrington - but no takers.[/QUOTE] I guess we'll just have to wait and see

Comment by tokon on 01-16-2021

[QUOTE=harry-greb;21018887]Exactly. Fighting his mandatories. But not seeking out the best in the division.[/QUOTE] Russell has called for, and made himself available, for those bigger fights - including Warrington - but no takers.

Comment by harry-greb on 01-15-2021

[QUOTE=tokon;21018189]Russell has been fighting his mandatories. That's the only reason Warrington fought Galahad as well.[/QUOTE] Exactly. Fighting his mandatories. But not seeking out the best in the division.

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (25)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
The Greatest Encore: Ranking the Best Heavyweights Since Ali Tszyu-Hogan: Stapleton vs. Colosimo in Works For Proposed Card Luis Nery Aims To Have Unification in Next Fight, Says Promoter Deontay Wilder vs. Dillian Whyte Would Be Massive Fight, Says Hearn Tommy Frank vs. Kyle Yousaf British Title Clash May Land in April Stephen Fulton Overcomes The Nightmare of COVID; Realizes Dream Of Fighting For World Title Ryan Garcia's Father: Lopez is Not 'King' at 135, He Beat a 130-Pounder Vergil Ortiz: I Want All The Belts, No Easy Fights, I Want To Face The Best Reynoso: Berchelt Can End a Fight With One Punch - But So Can Valdez! Munguia's Promoter Hopes To Secure Golovkin Title Clash Usyk vs. Joyce Clash is Being Discussed, Says Frank Warren Carlos Gongora Inks Promotional Pact With Eddie Hearn Ryan Garcia's Father Backs Son's Two Round KO Prediction of Gervonta Davis Samuel Vargas Aims To Use Experience To Shock Conor Benn Dylan Price Takes Out Samuel Gutierrez in Four Rounds Bob Arum: Golden Boy Wouldn't Put Ryan Garcia In With Teofimo Lopez; Easy Work Angelo Leo: Always Wanted To Celebrate Title Win With A Crowd, More Motivation To Stay Champion Thurman To Arum: Stop Talking Sh-t! Not My Fault You Can’t Afford Fight For Crawford Michel Rivera: Ryan Garcia Has a Great Punch But a Glass Chin Hearn Says Boxing Events Must Continue or Sport Could Fizzle Out McGirt Was Unaware of Kovalev's Doping Test, Felt Camp Was Going Well Manager: Pacquiao or McGregor Would Beat Mayweather in Rematch Dominic Breazeale Vows To Blast Out Otto Wallin With Huge Knockout Fred Levin: An Appreciation (1937-2021) Sergio Martinez Working For April Return, Eyes Murata Shot By Year's End Thunderdome Boxing Series Returns on February 26 in Perth Arum on Lopez's Options: Haney Doesn't Mean Much, Not an Attraction Like Davis, Garcia Talks Progress For Canelo Alvarez To Move Forward With Matchroom/DAZN Ivan Golub, Melissa Oddessa, Joe Williams Back on February 20 Inoue-Dasmarinas: Date, Site Of Fight Depends On COVID-19 Restrictions In Japan Junior Cruzat To Fight For WBA Regional Title on February 26 Joshua-Fury: Hearn Wants Second Fight in Cardiff, But Says Pressure May Stop It Buddy McGirt Predicts Shakur Stevenson Gets KO'ed by Teofimo Lopez, Starts Heated Squabble Artur Beterbiev Co-Trainer: Bivol Is The Most Important Fight At 175 Plant: At Some Point, Me And Canelo Are Gonna Get In There And Do Our Thing Josh Warrington May Vacate IBF Title, Fight Gary Russell Jr. Bruno Tarimo Cracks IBF's Top Ten, Inches Closer To Title Shot Terri Harper's Manager Hopes To Achieve Undisputed Goal in Two Fights Teofimo Lopez: If No Kambosos - Then I Want Haney, Garcia, Davis Chris Eubank Jr. Has Golovkin as #1 Target on List, Says Promoter
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement