Josh Warrington is aiming for another whirlwind 12 months after winning three domestic titles in the last year and is aiming for title number four when he takes on Davide Diele for the vacant European Featherweight title at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on October 4, live on Sky Sports.
The 23 year old defeated Ian Bailey to become the English Featherweight champion in September 2013 and then went on to capture the Commonwealth and British 126lbs titles after outclassing former World title challenger Rendall Munroe and Belfast’s Martin Lindsay respectively.
Those impressive performances have garnered the Leeds native a huge fan base in his hometown and having sold 1,500 tickets himself for the fight, Warrington says he has seen his stock rise in and out of the ring.
“My own ticket sales have gone through the roof for this one,” said Warrington. “I know the box office is doing well so I’m expecting good numbers like last time. This whole thing keeps building and my name keeps getting put about and that’s a good thing. Its progression.
“Between the Munroe and Lindsay ones there wasn’t a real massive gap so I didn’t really go anywhere like into town or anything like that,” said Warrington. “The Lindsay fight brought more recognition with people seeing it on a Wednesday night, they watched it and seen the atmosphere. I had a bit of time off afterwards so I’d pop into down or down the road and a lot of people were coming up to me to say hello and wish me well.”
Josh’s stablemate Lee Selby fights Joel Brunker in an IBF Featherweight title final eliminator on October 11 in London and Warrington says he would love a big domestic world title fight with the Welshman in the future possibly outdoors at Elland Road, home of his beloved Leeds United.
“If Selby goes on to win a world then this time next year we could have a big domestic fight,” said Warrington. “I won the British at Leeds Arena and now it’s the European at the same arena. I’ve got to keep winning but after fighting at somewhere like Leeds Arena I’d love to walk out the tunnel at Elland Road for a big World title fight. I’d love that.
“It’s all come very quickly but I think with every fight I’ve experienced a little bit more, I’ve become a better boxer and I keep on progressing and keep taking the opportunities with both hands. I’m loving it at the moment. An opportunity has come for the European and I think it’s the perfect opportunity so it’s good to get going again. Confidence is through the roof after the last couple of wins and it’s a good time to step up.”
Warrington’s clash with Dieli is part of a great night of action in Leeds which also features the return of former two-weight World champion Ricky Burns who makes his debut at Light Welterweight against Leonardo Gonzalez. Light Middleweight World title challenger Brian Rose returns to the ring against Juan Manuel Bonanni, unbeaten Super Middleweight sensation Callum Smith defends his WBC International title and Tyrone Nurse fights for the vacant Commonwealth Light Welterweight title.
Tickets are on sale now priced £30, £40 and £60 from the First Direct Arena on 0844 248 1585 and at www.firstdirectarena.com. VIP tickets priced at £120 are available exclusively from Matchroom Boxing on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com.