Josh Warrington set to end period of frustration with Leigh Wood challenge

Josh Warrington’s frustrating period of inactivity seems to be nearing an end after he agreed terms to face WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood in October.
Front-running cities for the fight include Nottingham, Leeds and Sheffield, with larger venues in Manchester and London unavailable for the date.
Wood-Warrington is an excellent fight. Warrington, 31-2-1 (8 KOs) last boxed in December, losing narrowly to Luis Lopez.
Wood, 27-3 (16 KOs) has boxed Mauricio Lara twice this year, losing by knockout in February but avenging the defeat on points three months later.
Wood is 34, Warrington, who has his own history with Lara, is 32.
“That’s correct,” Warrington said, when asked whether he’d agreed the Wood fight. “Looks like we finally have some fight news after a frustrating 2023, with fights promised, fights not happening, deals not been done, it now looks like a big fight with Mr Wood.”
Warrington has had just two fights in two years.
“Of course, it’s no good being on the sidelines,” Warrington added. “It’s going to be 10 months since I boxed and inactivity is not good for a fighter, or for any athlete.”
The Leeds star is aware of the naysayers, claiming he won’t return to the levels of form he achieved when defeating Lee Selby and Carl Frampton, but Warrington explained of the detractors and their thoughts of him: “He [Warrington]’s had a good career and maybe he needs to call it a day and spend time with his family but I’m going straight back into a fight coming off a broken jaw [from Kiko Martinez] against a dangerous and relatively unknown Mexican [Lopez]. I started slow [against Lopez], picked it up and he was hanging on for his life at the end of it.”
Warrington feels fresh. He’s heading out to Oklahoma next week to be with his friend and training partner Maxi Hughes ahead of Hughes’s July 22 fight with George Kambosos.
“You’ll see I’m still in my prime but words are words,” said Warrington.
Warrington had hoped to be busier this year, and he still covets a big fight in Las Vegas for his huge Leeds following before he calls it a day. Warrington was told he would get Lara after the first Wood fight, but Wood had a rematch clause, then there was talk of a fight with Christopher Diaz, which amounted to nothing, and he was offered the Jazza Dickens fight but admitted: “I want to be fighting at the higher level. [That fight was] Not much to gain and a lot to lose. I wanted to something else. I’m ranked No. 1 with the WBC. Why can’t I have Rey Vargas, he’s there doing fuck all. I got the green light from the WBC to challenge him and DAZN and Matchroom said it can’t happen, then said maybe it could, teased us with that and it fell asleep.”
Wood holds a win over Warrington’s stablemate Reece Mould in 2021 and Warrington calls him, “A very good fighter. A very good technical fighter” and Warrington’s team considered asking Wood for sparring years ago when the Leeds man was being lined up to fight Can Xu at Headingly Stadium before the pandemic.
Warrington only got into boxing to see how far his skills could take him. First target was to win an area title, then it was British, then European, then world. But his bucket list still has a Vegas trip for his faithful Leeds fans at the top.
“I’d be very disappointed if I get to the end of my career and it’s never happened,” he said. “It would kill me if I’m not able to do it.”