It has been a time of change for IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington. Since a spectacular two round demolition of his mandatory challenger, Sofiane Takoucht, last October the 32Red ambassador has switched training operations to his own gym in Leeds and moved promotional outfits.
Despite the horrendous coronavirus pandemic sweeping the planet, ‘The Leeds Warrior’ is still managing to keep busy and train as he counts down the days towards a long awaited unification fight and judging by the type of fights he has recommended fight fans watch during the sporting hiatus, it will take more than a few weeks in quarantine to dent Warrington’s enthusiasm for a war.
Josh’s list includes fights which matter to him, ones which influenced him and those that he just enjoys watching.
Erik Morales v Marco Antonio Barrera 1
WBC & WBO super bantamweight titles, February 2000
“This is one of my favourite fights. For me it’s a combination of what was on the line and the pace that they go at. They’re throwing four, five, six, seven punch combinations and they are just bouncing off each other’s heads. The fight goes back and forth.
“They seem to be friendly nowadays but right through the three fights they ended up having they hated each other. Most fighters want to shake hands after a fight but those two wanted to go again straight away. Unbelievable.”
Micky Ward v Arturo Gatti 1
“I know that boxing is an art form and we all appreciate poetry in motion and the artistic motion when boxers are working their defence and so on but we also appreciate a good brawl and the heart and toughness of fighters don’t we?
“These guys are hitting each other with absolute bombs and shots that could put either of them away. It’s a rollercoaster of a fight and there are rounds where Gatti is hurt and he plants his feet and just starts throwing back. It’s an absolute classic.”
Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton
IBF Featherweight title, December 2019
“I’ve been thinking back over some of the British fights we’ve had over the years and we’ve had some absolute beauties. You can go from the small hall shows right the way up to fights like Anthony Crolla v John Murray. From Michael Gomez against Alex Arthur to the first fight between Carl Froch and George Groves. There have been some unbelievable battles.
“It’s a bit cheesy including myself but the fact that I was the underdog going in to the fight and the way the first three rounds started off makes it special. I’d come off the big fight with Lee Selby when I won the title and ended the year with this massive event against Carl. The level of respect we had for each other afterwards made it even better.”