Unbeaten IBF featherweight czar Josh Warrington looks to mix some media work with a reconnaissance mission on both site and fighter when he sat ringside at Windsor Park, Belfast this past weekend and witnessed home hero Carl Frampton’s WBO ‘interim’ 9st defence against Aussie Luke ‘Action’ Jackson. He can anticipate a lively ‘welcome’ from the locals!
Yesterday the turbo-charged 27 year old ‘Leeds Warrior’ gave Glynn Evans his views on a prospective Anglo-Irish war that is starting to look more probable than possible.
“Lee Selby had that arrogant persona and things got a bit personal, Carl seems a genuine straight up guy and whenever we’ve met we’ve shook hands. No doubt a healthy competitive edge will emerge if and when our ‘build up’ starts. But we’re just two athletes intent on proving we’re the best," Warrington said.
"I don’t think Carl is any less keen on fighting me now than he was before I smashed Selby. I’m sure he still has the belief that he can beat me. But he’ll know the odds are narrowing. The boxing world didn’t think I had the calibre of performance in me that I showed against Selby. I won a lot of fans over.
"However, selling a stadium fight is pretty intense and my ‘camp’ for the Selby fight was very long and mentally hard. I had to make sacrifices and it takes a lot out of ya. I needed some quality time with my wife and babies (six month old twin daughters) and to just enjoy being world champion.
"Since winning the title I’ve done some charity work and a bit of house hunting. I’ve been in the gym, keeping fit and working on stuff whilst I wait for Frank (Warren, his Hall of Fame promoter) to sort something. Now I can’t wait for ‘camp’ to start.
"I’d have liked a big ‘Leeds away day’ and I could’ve been ready to fight Frampton at Windsor (Park) in late September or October. But you can only have stadium fights at a certain time of year. That’s now unlikely before next spring.
"And it may as well be at Elland Road again as Belfast. I’m the world champion, remember, not Frampton. We could have it later this year at a neutral indoor arena such as Manchester or the O2 in London, wherever revenue is biggest. There’s no point downgrading the fight by having it indoors in Leeds or Belfast.
"Frampton is still the fight I want most and I’m hoping it’ll be this year. My philosophy is, every fight is hard at world level, every camp requires you preparing to the optimum, so chase the money fights. Let’s get the best fights done.
"Beating Selby and Frampton in 2018 would represent a hell of a year for me and line-up some unification do-dahs with the other champions over in the States in 2019. I want to take all the Leeds fans to Vegas.
"Even after what I showed against Selby, there’s plenty still think I won’t be able to compete with Carl, the two-weight world champion who beat Leo Santa Cruz. But timing is everything in boxing and my (training) stats show that I’m still constantly improving, approaching my peak. Each camp I’m getting stronger and faster. There’s more to come. And I consistently deliver my best performances in my biggest contests.
"For some years I’ve held the belief that I’ve got the attributes – the will and the desire – to be the best in the world at 126. I’m a huge, huge featherweight. Because my stoppage ratio is relatively low, people seriously underestimate my strength in the clinches and my punch power. I hurt opponents."
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