Former two-time IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington has been fully focused on the task ahead of him this upcoming Saturday.
Warrington (31-2-1) will seek to secure a third world title in the featherweight division as he travels to Sheffield to face current WBA featherweight supremo Leigh Wood (27-3).
The contest on October 7 will be the first time Warrington has stepped back through the ropes following his defeat to Luis Alberto Lopez in December of 2022. Warrington was punished for a lacklustre start, losing his IBF world title in the maiden defence of his second spell as IBF belt holder via majority decision in his hometown of Leeds.
Leigh Wood has also been on his own course of redemption after being halted by Mauricio Lara in February in seven rounds following a knockdown which, despite rising to his feet, saw trainer Ben Davison withdraw Wood from the contest and lose his WBA title as a consequence.
Wood would recapture the title in May with a comprehensive victory over Lara, winning widely on points.
There has been lasting respect between Warrington and Wood, resulting in a calm build-up to this weekend’s encounter in South Yorkshire. However, when speaking to the Daily Mirror, Warrington has said that respect ends on fight night as he drew comparisons from his previous experience when he faced Carl Frampton.
“The respect doesn’t matter. Leigh has something I want. I’m jealous, envious of the position he is in. I had a fight with Carl Frampton a few years ago, and I would go as far as to say I was a fan of his until I boxed him. The build-up was nothing but amicable, and we ended up having the fight of the year. In the first two rounds, I absolutely banjo-ed him with one shot.
“But after the fight, we embraced, and he came into my changing room, and now I’d go as far as to call him my friend. When it comes to it, we’ll have little 8oz gloves on, and we’ll be going there to bash each other up.”
Talk in recent months has surrounded Warrington’s future on which weight he campaigns at moving forward as the Leeds native reaches the advanced years of his career. Joe Cordina, current IBF super-featherweight champion, has been linked with fighting Warrington over previous months. The winner of Wood-Warrington has been linked as being a future opponent of the two-time IBF super-featherweight champion Cordina.
Warrington, if successful, has yet to rule out the possibility of facing Cordina if the financial elements of such a contest are favourable and appealing to him. However, Warrington continued to add that his preferred route for the next chapter of his career would be to head over stateside to fight in the United States.
“The Cordina fight depends how much he’s going to pay me. I’ve been making featherweight for a long time, so it would be nice to have the luxury to step up. But more than anything, I want to go to America. It has been hanging over me a long time. Eddie said it, Frank Warren said it when he promoted me, Eddie said it again and it’s one of the reasons I went back to him. Apart from the heavyweights, who else will take a big fanbase over there? I strongly believe I’ll take some big numbers,” Warrington said.