Later on this evening, Josh Warrington will clash with Australian Joel Brunker at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. With Brunker being a former opponent to IBF Featherweight World Champion Lee Selby, it will be a good test to see just how good Warrington is.
In his last outing, Josh Warrington won a convincing unanimous decision against Dennis Tubieron to win the vacant WBC International featherweight title at the same First Direct Arena. The Leeds man is also the European champion after stopping Davide Dieli in the fourth round at the same venue in 2014. So far, he has taken the traditional route on the way to the top, by winning the English, Commonwealth, British and European titles so far in his career as well as winning the WBC international title. With all of these titles, he has gained a number five ranking with the WBC, and is ranked eighth with the IBF and ninth with the WBA. A win over Brunker would increase his ranking further and push a clash with fellow Brit Lee Selby even closer. Warrington has had a remarkable career so far, winning all of his 21 contests, despite only scoring four stoppages. If he was to beat Brunker, a grudge match with fellow Brit Mitchell Smith looks to be on the cards.
Joel Brunker has a very good record with 28 wins and only 1 defeat to his name. Despite losing out to Lee Selby, he has been very impressive in his career so far, and has a much higher knock out percentage than Warrington. He has travelled to both Britain and America before, and will fancy his chances to upset the odds and defeat the ‘Leeds Warrior’ in his own back yard.
For me, Josh Warrington should have too much for Brunker, but I can’t see there being a stoppage. The Leeds crowd will be very hard to deal with for Brunker, and Warrington should be able to out box Brunker if he wants to challenge for world titles soon. Josh Warrington has been very impressive so far, and I can’t wait for a clash with Mitchell Smith to happen. With both men performing well so far in their careers, a grudge match would be great for British boxing.
The under card will be headed by Martin Murray’s first title shot at super middleweight against Jose Miguel Torres for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title. Two English title fights will also feature on the under card, with Andy Townend facing Lee Glover at super-featherweight and Isaac Lowe facing Jamie Speight at featherweight. Also on the under card will be Tony Bellew, Stuart Hall, Kal Yafai, Jason Cunningham and Luke Keeler, as well as unbeaten prospects Hamed Ghaz, Reece Cartwright, Darren Tetley and Arfan Iqbal.
By Luke Madeira, follow Luke on Twitter @lukemadeira15