Josh Warrington vented his frustration over calls to fight Leigh Wood, as the Leeds man believes he’s deserving of a big unification fight stateside.
Warrington, who is scheduled to fight Luis Alberto Lopez on December 10 in his home town, is the IBF Featherweight World Champion. The other belts are held as follows – Emanuel Navarrete is the proud owner of the WBO, WBC for Rey Vargas, and Leo Santa Cruz is the WBA Super Champion.
Despite unification, and ultimately undisputed, being the goal for most boxers, the featherweight division has been more plodding than others. Santa Cruz has been busy jumping up in weight, so much so that, since his last defence in 2019, more focus has been put on Nottingham’s Leigh Wood, who was crowned WBA Regular Champion in 2021.
A fight between Warrington and Wood has long been discussed, and would be a domestic thriller given their styles. Warrington said that it may potentially be made soon, and admitted that the pair were on a ‘collision course.’
However, speaking to Boxing Social, ‘The Leeds Warrior’ went on to say that he’s frustrated that a unification bout in America isn’t on the table instead.
“I’m a little bit frustrated [with the] fact that like … when I won a world title I had my first defence against Carl Frampton, then I fought my mandatory in Kid Galahad, then I wanted to fight a big name in the states – I couldn’t get it going.”
“And all right, probably half my fault I got knocked out, but I’ve regained the belt and it’s like people aren’t even considering me going to fight the likes of [Emanuel] Navarrete or Rey Vargas anymore. It’s like you’ve got to fight Leigh Wood. Not even [Leo] Santa Cruz anymore. You’ve got to fight him [Wood.] Well, this is my f**king sixth world title fight.
If you want to really argue, Leigh’s not even a proper world champion. That’s a regular belt. So I feel like I’ve done more than enough to get me a shot at f**king fighting in a unified title fight. But, in business sense and all that, it could be a big pay day, and I get another belt and can go over there [US]. If he gets elevated to super champion that could be potentially something.”
Wood was recently forced to pull out of a scheduled fight with the man who knocked out Warrington – Mauricio Lara. Wood’s torn bicep will keep him out of the ring for a while, with the Lara fight looking to be rescheduled.
In the interim, Warrington will defend his belt in his beloved Leeds. It’s clear from this answer that he knows what he wants afterwards, and that’s a trip across the pond. Whether he’ll get it or it’ll be a trip to Nottingham instead remains to be seen.