Warrington Reclaims IBF Featherweight Title

Warrington Reclaims IBF Featherweight Title - partycasino

Josh Warrington’s career was on course to see him become another great. But, disaster struck during lockdown when the Leeds icon, who couldn’t be backed by his fan base on the night, was brutally knocked out by Mexican Mauricio Lara, losing his unblemished record. The rematch with Lara ended prematurely after Lara sustained a cut following a clash of heads, leaving Warrington very much in no man’s land. But now he’s back, and he’s a world champion for a second time.

The History

Warrington, 31, reached the top of the featherweight division when he beat Lee Selby at Elland Road to win the IBF featherweight title. Still, it’s a bout a couple before the two Brits met in Leeds that ended up leading to an opportunity to make it back to the top after defeat at the hands of Lara at the then called SSE Arena in London.

Settling Old Scores

On May 13 2017, Warrington beat Spain’s Kiko Martinez to defend his WBC International featherweight title at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. But, he did so by majority decision, with Martinez and many others feeling the Spaniard was victorious on the night. Fast forward to the weekend just gone, and the duo met again at the same venue, with old scores to settle and Warrington wanting to wrestle the IBF featherweight title from his former foe.

Martinez Opportunity

Martinez, who turned thirty-six earlier this month, remarkably knocked out Kid Galahad in the sixth round of their bout in November, winning a world title for the second time in his career. And, after Galahad decided not to invoke his rematch clause as he intends to move up in weight, it opened the door for Martinez and Warrington to do battle once again in front of a sold-out First Direct Arena.

The Favourite

Warrington headed into the fight the favourite, and he backed up his claims in the first round, after flooring Martinez with a vicious right hook. After getting back to his feet, Martinez survived an onslaught from Warrington, who felt he could get his opponent out of there early doors, but the Spaniard survived.

Keen Exchange

While Warrington was on top, landing some great shots, Martinez was never undeterred and was keen on exchanging. But, with cuts above both eyes, and Warrington upping the tempo when there appeared to be a dip, a flurry from the Leeds man had the Spaniard backed up against the ropes with nothing coming back, and referee Marcus McDonnell intervened.

Winning Options

Warrington, alongside his trainer and father Sean O’Hagan, was a world champion once again. It had been a difficult road after having eyes on a unification bout prior to the Lara reverse, but now everything is back on the cards. Beating Martinez has not only put that particular ghost to bed, but it means there are multiple options for Warrington to consider.

British Unification

There’s already talk of an all British unification clash with Leigh Wood, who was in attendance at the weekend, and is also signed to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom. But, there’s also the opportunity for an away day in the US, and there is another ghost in Lara that Warrington may want to put to bed.