Josh Warrington challenged Leigh Wood to become three-time world champion in Sheffield, but a series of hooks in the seventh round saw him on the canvas.
Warrington was boxing at his best, controlling the action and throwing everything at the champion, who struggled with the pace and was feeling the shots.
As he has before, Wood pulled a sensational stoppage seemingly out of nowhere. Warrington was floored right on the bell, but he stood quickly and made his way back to his corner. He turned to face referee Michael Alexander before ten, but it was waved off.
Boxing Social caught up with the Leeds fan-favourite post-fight for his thoughts.
“I need to watch it back, but my team seem happy with it and said I was boxing really well. Up on the scorecards. I wasn’t looking too much into that, I was just concentrating on the round by round.”
The point deduction for punching behind the head
“I feel cause of Ben [Davison] having a go at the referee in between rounds that played a part in his decision-making. It went from a warning, no final warning, straight to a point off. He did say to me ‘I’m gonna give you another warning’ but then just went ahead and took a point.
I’m throwing tight hooks inside and he’s turning and leaning his head down. Plus, I haven’t seen it back, but I believe the punch was at the side of the head. I feel I’ve been hard done by there as well.”
The stoppage and whether he should have been allowed to fight on
“Heard the klaxon – ten seconds. I thought I’d finish strong, got caught with a shot – silly really – got up a bit too early, looked a bit unsteady but I had my senses round me. Facing my dad I just said ‘for f**k sake.’ I overheard [referee] Michael Alexander at six, and then I hear the bell go, seven, turn round at eight and he’s f***ing waving it off.”
“Definitely [referees need to take their time with key moments]. You’ve got to take everything that’s going on into consideration at that moment in time. Michael Alexander has been a referee for myself and numerous world title fights. He knows what I’m capable of and he knows I take a shot. The bell’s gone. I know it’s a stressful situation, I know there’s a lot going on, but analyse the moment. You’re meant to be a chilled head in there. You’re not fighting. ‘Bell’s gone, I’m at eight, he’s got his back to me but he is turning round, right.’
I feel he should’ve let me get on. I know we’re not in America, but there’s referees there who let you bounce up at nine. Frustrating.”
“He’s pulling the scorecards at the end of each round. He will know that I’m up. I just feel it’s a bit of an injustice.”
“From the first fight in Huddersfield leisure centre, I think I took about 60 people down to watch my debut, to selling out stadiums twice, arenas twelve times. Through thick and thin, they’ve been labelled as just football fans. They’re passionate. They’re my fans, my supporters, my followers and I’ll always be indebted to them.”