Josh Warrington may have had his next fight done and dusted for him.

The IBF featherweight world champion is less than a month removed from his unanimous points win over Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena.

Warrington retained his crown against the Belfast man, exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office, as part of Frank Warren’s final show of 2018 and had designs on unification showdowns in the new year.

But the IBF, the sanctioning body with which the Leeds fighter is the champion, appears to have put the blockers on potential showdowns with WBO king Oscar Valdez, his fellow Mexican Leo Santa Cruz, who holds the WBA Super world title, or WBC ruler Gary Russell Jr. after ordering Warrington to face his mandatory challenger Kid Galahad.

The Sheffield man won a final eliminator for the title by outpointing Toka Kahn Clary at the TD Garden in Boston back in October and has since repeatedly stated that he’s been told his shot would come next.

“Warrington can’t request an exception because he requested one already to fight Frampton,” an IBF spokesperson said recently.

It was originally thought that Warrington could sidestep this mandatory by agreeing a unification bout with one of the other champions and getting an exception approved.

“As of [January 2], Warrington has not been ordered to defend against his mandatory,” the spokesperson continued.

And though it has yet to be done, Boxing Social understands it is just a matter of time before the Warrington vs. Galahad fight is ordered, putting paid to any idea of a potential showdown between Warrington and Valdez, who returns to the ring on February 2 and has expressed a desire to face the Yorkshireman should he win his first fight in 11 months.

The only way for Warrington to take another fight, rather than face former British, Commonwealth and European super-bantamweight champion Galahad, who is trained by Dominic Ingle in Sheffield, would then be to vacate his world title that he ripped away from Wales’ Lee Selby at Elland Road last May.

Article by: Elliot Foster