Josh Warrington (22-0, 4 KO’s) kept his Commonwealth and WBC International featherweight titles last night by winning all 12 rounds against Joel Brunker, becoming only the second man to beat the Australian after IBF champ Lee Selby accomplished the feat last year.
Warrington again impressed in front of his voracious home crowd in Leeds and Sky’s cameras, reinforcing the battlements of what is fast becoming a home fortress for visiting fighters.
Former super-middleweight champion Carl Froch was ringside with the Sky Sports team and said Warrington’s performance was close to perfect.
“It was a great performance.”
”I said between round five and six, if he continued to do what he was doing then it’s almost a flawless victory – and that’s what it looked like.”
Warrington’s in-ring progression over the last two years, combined with his unbelievable home support means he is one of Matchroom Sports brightest young stars, and so comparisons with the in-house champion Lee Selby have naturally followed.
The idea of Selby travelling to Leeds for an open air event at Elland Road (the city’s football stadium) was floated soon after the Welshman won his belt in May. For the amount of money a show like that would garner he said he’d be happy to make the trip, and Froch said he would likely come out the winner should these two fight as Matchroom seems to be planning.
“Selby is a fantastic talent; he’s like a little box of tricks, a magician.”
“You are going to pick Lee Selby to win that, I certainly would. Lee Selby has got too much for him, and he’s not ready for that yet, but he definitely gives him a fight, certainly it will be very interesting. But he needs two, maybe three more at a level.”
He added that the 126 lb. division will not get any easier for Warrington now he has proven himself as above British level.
“Lee Selby is a class fighter and so is [Vasyl] Lomachenko, it’s a tough, tough division. You have to be careful, and he’s in no rush to jump straight in there, but he cannot stick around at domestic level, he’s too good. “
Not to mention WBC champion Gary Russell Jr.
Selby vs. Warrington in a big domestic world title fight would probably be the preferred route for Matchroom in the stead of unifying the belt against the tougher overseas competition. Why risk losing a title when you can keep everything in house and put on a massive stadium show at the same time?
As for the likely winner, it is difficult to foresee Warrington nullifying Selby’s inventive mobility and blistering hand speed. He could well develop enough over his next few appearances to the point where he gives Selby serious trouble but for now he is still just a few steps behind.