Josh Warrington’s shot at redemption could be heading outdoors after all.
In April Headingley Stadium had been ruled out of hosting the rematch between the Leeds warrior and Mauricio Lara when Leeds city council refused a licence application for the rugby and cricket stadium to stage the fight.
Local councillor John Illingworth cited fears surrounding the late-night finish of the September event and the amount of people that would be in and around the residential area.
A turnaround looks on the cards though with Warrington v Lara 2 now looking likely for Headingley with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom now seemingly having the blessing of the council.
“Twelve weeks today, Josh ‘The Leeds Warrior’ Warrington and Mauricio Lara… it’s the comeback, it’s the only fight this man [Warrington] said he wants,” said Hearn on Saturday night with the former IBF featherweight champion by his side.
“Everyone else said don’t fight Mauricio Lara again, have a little comeback. Josh Warrington said absolutely no way. Get me back to where I come from, get me back to Leeds, get me to Headingley. Twelve weeks, September 4, stand by for the big announcement coming soon. We’re getting everything in order with Headingley and Leeds council.”
“This is going to be absolutely massive. I’m so excited,” said a pumped-up Warrington.
“Massive big show. We want to go to States, but we’ve got to get this win back on the road. September 4, let’s have it!”
The September rematch will put Warrington’s career on the line after losing his unbeaten record and his status as the world’s best featherweight when he lost to the unknown Lara in February. The ninth-round loss was a devastating and brutal defeat for Warrington, but time has allowed him to heal mentally and physically it seems.
It was always clear in the aftermath of his first loss that the return bout was the only thing on his mind. The unknown overseas opponent has bitten Matchroom a few times recently but Warrington now knows what to expect from the Mexican and this time will have a massive crowd behind him cheering him on in his bid for revenge.
Main image: Dave Thompson