After Leeds United were disappointed in their efforts to return to top-flight football after fifteen years languishing in the lower devisions, lifelong fan Josh Warrington will be looking to give his supporters something to smile about when he defends his IBF featherweight strap against mandatory challenger Kid Galahad.
Indeed, Warrington has brought glory to his hometown on multiple occasions throughout his career, and enjoyed a hugely successful year in 2018; dethroning Lee Selby at his beloved Elland Road, before prevailing over Carl Frampton in a December fight-of-the-year candidate.
It is important to note that Warrington was the underdog for these fights yet triumphed in dominant fashion on both occasions, fighting at a pace and intensity that his counterparts simply could not cope with on the night.
Although the fight against Galahad marks a slight change from the circumstances of his prior two contests – due to the fact that this time, Warrington is actually the favourite – it would be reasonable to suggest that Galahad is perhaps a trickier proposition than both Selby and Frampton.
Warrington has demonstrated beyond any doubt that he is not someone who is burdened by expectation or his vociferous home support, yet it could be argued that – considering what is at stake – Galahad is a classic case of high-risk and relatively low-reward.
Born in Qatar to Yemeni parents but forged in the Steel City under the guidance of legendary trainer Brendan Ingle, Galahad has accrued a record of 26-0 and most recently outpointed Toka Kahn Cleary in Philadelphia to secure his status as mandatory challenger.
The bout with Warrington represents a highly intriguing clash of styles. A physically strong, slippery spoiler and adept switch-hitter against a relentless pressure fighter who is more versatile than many recognise. It remains to be seen whether Dominic Ingle has devised a strategy to effectively frustrate the champion, who has a penchant for throwing punches in bunches and pummelling his opponents from close quarters.
Expect a closely-fought, scrappy affair where both fighters cancel each other out for large portions of the contest, but for the home favourite to be ultimately declared the winner by the narrowest of margins.
An interesting clash between British super-featherweights also takes place on the undercard, as Mancunian Zelfa Barrett faces Leicester’s Lyon Woodstock.
Both fighters have suffered defeats in recent times – the former a shock loss to Ronnie Clark, while Woodstock was outfoxed by Archie Sharp – and this fight is an important step towards re-establishing relevance in a division absolutely teeming with domestic talent.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________