Josh Warrington has vowed to return following his defeat to WBA world featherweight champion Leigh Wood this past weekend in Sheffield.
Warrington and Wood, both in their advancing years for featherweights, produced a thrilling spectacle in the steel city of Sheffield as Wood halted Warrington in his tracks and secured a stoppage victory in seven rounds. Challenger Warrington would control most of the fight, but outworking and outboxing Wood.
Wood would produce the stoppage virtually on the bell to end round seven with a chopping left hand before a flurry of shots landed on Warrington as the Leeds native dropped to the canvas. Warrington would rise to his feet before the count of eight, but referee Michael Alexander would wave off the contest as Warrington stood in his corner.
Father and trainer Sean O’Hagan protested at the referee’s call, and it was revealed post-fight that Warrington was ahead on all judge’s scorecards.
Immediately post-fight, Warrington admitted that he had switched off, following a point removal during the round, harshly for clipping Wood behind the head.
“I feel a bit hard done by tonight,” said Warrington. “It was the end of the round. I get to my feet, there’s a smile on my face. I turned round at eight, and the next minute it was waved off.
“I was cruising the fight, ahead on the scorecards, but switched off for a split second. It’s boxing.”
Warrington has ruled out retiring from the sport following the defeat, despite only winning one fight from his previous five bouts. The former two-time IBF champion continued adding that he will move up to super-featherweight while disagreeing with referee Alexander’s decision to wave-off the contest.
“This was probably my last fight at feather. I can still make it comfortably but I’ve been here a long time.
“I know the referee is there for my own safety, but I’m deep into my career. I’ve never really been hurt, and this is my seventh world title fight. I should have been given the opportunity to carry on. Maybe I got up too quickly, but my senses were with me.”
Warrington would elaborate on the frustration and ‘injustice’ he feels he has been victim to on his Instagram account. Warrington spoke about how he felt the point deduction was unjust and how he would have appreciated being able to take the one-minute rest in between round 7 leading into the eighth.
“This has been going over and over in my head all day.
“I’ve had a point deduction for apparently punching around the back of the head.
“Given one warning but not a final one.
“Frustrated with that and the start, I’ve upped the pace to make sure I can at least draw the round.
“Get caught by being reckless with a good timed shot, take a few more clean and go over.
“I hear the bell go when I’m down.
“Up at 4/5, walk back to my corner on a little shaky but all good upstairs.
“Turn to face the ref at 8, legs stable and he’s already waving it off.
“Up more or less every round on all the cards.
“I feel I should have been given the benefit.
“Would have had a full minute to recover with the rest.
“I feel a bit of injustice … Rematch at the city ground?”