Leeds’ Josh Warrington (30-1, 7 KOs) has had big fights against Lee Selby and Carl Frampton, but this weekend’s rematch against Mauricio Lara (23-2, 16 KOs) is arguably the most significant bout of the 30-year-old’s career as he seeks to bounce back from February’s ninth-round knockout loss.
Warrington gave up his IBF title before the Lara fight in order to try to set-up a fight against one of the WBA’s belt holders Can Xu, who later went on to lose to Leigh Wood in July. Now, though, Warrington is fighting to get things back on track and he has told Ben McKenna of the Yorkshire Post that it took him a while to accept his first defeat.
“Time’s a healer,” he said. “If you’ve got a worldie of a girl and she leaves you, you’re devastated and you think your world has come crashing down. But eventually, you go out and find another girl and she’s the love of your life. For the first six or seven weeks, I was dealing with injuries and that covered up all the thoughts of losing. I had a fractured jaw, I had to have an operation on my elbow, I had a damaged shoulder, my ear was perforated.”
Warrington, though, admits that he feels a sense of responsibility for the loss and hopes to make it up to his rabid fanbase at Headingley Rugby League Stadium this Saturday night. “I didn’t really leave the house because I was kind of embarrassed and I didn’t want to bump into folk and them asking me ‘What happened Josh?’,” he added.
“For six weeks, I was recovering. Then, when I went to the Parker-Chisora fight, that’s when it hit home because that should have been my night, that should have been my re-organised fight with Can Xu. I was driving back from Manchester that night on the M62 and I broke down after that, it’s probably the lowest I’ve ever been. For about two weeks I was just moping around the house; I couldn’t be bothered about anything.
“The garden was piled up with dog poo and I couldn’t be bothered going out and dealing with that. It got to a stage where I thought I could do something about it or just keep moping about, so I dusted myself off and got back in the gym when I could. I thought I’m not the only fighter in boxing who’s lost and that’s where my mindset and motivation changed.”
Warrington hopes that a revenge win in front of his home crowd will go a long way to ensuring that he is back among the titles in 2022.
You learn something new every day in the sport of boxing. For most fans, Tommy Fury’s four-round decision win over Anthony Taylor (0-2) at the weekend was viewed as an exercise in setting up a potential clash against Jake Paul, but eagle-eyed reality TV fans have revealed that Fury (7-0, 4 KOs) paid tribute to his partner, Molly-Mae, by adding a small, embroidered tribute to her beloved Love Island teddy bear, Ellie Belly, to his robe.
Shivon Watson of the Daily Star Online noticed that fans of the two Love Island stars had taken to Twitter to the rip the lid off Fury’s personal tribute. ‘This really is the purest type of love,’ Tweeted one online lover of pure romance. ‘Omfg this is the cutest thing ever!’ added another.
Despite this positive sartorial feedback, the 22-year-old was critical of his performance and has vowed to continue to learn his trade and improve, with a fight against Paul a distinct possibility now that the YouTuber turned boxer has decided to unretire from the sport despite Tweeting yesterday that he was now a former boxer.
“I’m getting better, I’m trying my best,” said Fury when summing up the contest. “Looking at that, Jake should have an easy night, there are no excuses, I want you next you bum, let’s get it on…I’m a seven-fight novice in the gym, Fight by fight I’m learning, we’ll get there, slowly but surely.”
As for the potential Paul-Fury fight, the Daily Star Online also confirmed that Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter, has said that the fight could take place in the UK. It might not, it probably won’t, if we are being honest here, but Warren has said it is a possibility despite the fact that Paul has said he was doing Fury a favour by adding him to last weekend’s show.
“Yes it could (happen) and we’d try to get it in the UK,” Warren told Sky Sports.
Paul was dismissive of Fury when asked about a potential fight between the two, saying: “Fury is supposed to be this big, tough guy from a legendary bloodline but I got in his face. I hired him to be here. I gave him an opportunity to shine. He is an easier fight than Tyron Woodley. People say he is a ‘real boxer’ so let’s run it.”
“If he didn’t have his security team with him, he would have walked straight past me,” countered Fury. “There was a moment in that corridor, when everything was going off between his security and my team. It was just me and him. I looked dead into his soul. If the cameras aren’t around, he doesn’t want to know.”
Dave Allen (19-5-2, 16 KOs) returned to boxing with a second-round win over Andrea Pesce (7-14-3, 2 KOs) on Saturday night and the show’s promoter, Dennis Hobson, has vowed to get Allen a title shot down the line. Allen has failed in his biggest fights, shipping a lot of punishment along the way. Hobson, though, likes the “White Rhino” and has vowed to do all he can to help the 29-year-old.
“I was pleased with his comeback,” stated Hobson. “I wasn’t over expecting anything from him, but he got the opponent out of there. He’s heavy handed, exciting to watch and has plenty of charisma. There’s obviously room for improvement, but Dave proved to himself that he still has something. If he works on it then he’ll be a force to be reckoned with again and will win a few titles. I go back a long way with him and love working with him. The next couple of years with him are going to be very interesting.”
“Dave Allen needs to win a title,” added Hobson. “We’ve got to win a title together. We have a connection and I want to win a title with him and get him on my wall of fame.”
In other heavyweight news, Martin Bakole (16-1, 12 KOs) will continue what trainer Billy Nelson believes is his inexorable march to an inevitable world title shot when the 28-year-old meets Haruna Osumanu (11-2, 7 KOs) in Dubai on September 18.
Bakole has racked up five wins on the spin since losing to Michael Hunter in October 2018 and will hope that a victory over the 41-year-old, who is coming off back-to-back retirement loses against Arslan Lallyev and Ebenezer Tetteh respectively, will help him build on last year’s 10-round decision win over Sergey Kuzmin.
Obviously, there was a big announcement by Sky Sports today. They have hooked up with BOXXER to make some new signings and announce new shows. All the details can be found here and there is more to come as Boxing Social speaks to those involved.
Main image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.