British, Commonwealth and European featherweight champion Josh Warrington (21-0, 4 KO’s) has made it clear he feels confident of beating fellow British featherweight Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KO’s) when speaking to BoxingNewsOnline.net.
Selby took Evgeny Gradovich’s IBF World featherweight title last weekend in a contest that went to the cards after six rounds due to a cut on the champion caused by an accidental head clash. Up to that point, Selby looked in full control against a fighter known for his pressure and volume punching, but who could not find the elusive Welshman often enough to hurt him.
Warrington congratulated Selby on the win, but felt Gradovich did not offer much by the way of variety once he found his initial approach wasn’t working, even going so far as to question the Russian’s desire to keep his belt.
“I expected a little bit more from Gradovich, I thought he was very one-dimensional, he just came forward in straight lines and he didn’t seem to have a plan B.”
“For me, if you’re boxing for a world title, you put in absolutely everything to win that fight, but he didn’t change anything up.”
“I’m taking nothing away from Lee because he can only box who’s in front of him, and he dealt with Gradovich very easily.”
Warrington rose to prominence at the tail-end of 2013 with an impressive demolition job on Samir Mouneimne. He poured on waves of accurate punches over twelve rounds and got the stoppage in the final session to announce himself on the national stage on Sky Sports.
Since then, he has continued to look impressive in wins against Rendall Munroe, Martin Lindsay and Davide Dieli.
Those names do not ring out on the international scene, but Warrington is an ever-improving fighter and is surging with confidence after taking each step up in class in his stride. He has yet to face anyone of Gradovich’s calibre, but that does not deter him from predicting a victory against Selby.
“I 100% fancy my chances against Lee, even more so after seeing him on Saturday.”
“I think he boxed very well, he won his title in style and I don’t want to p*** on his bonfire but I feel, being there ringside on Saturday, even more confident of doing a number on him.”
He did not go into detail about which flaws, in particular, emboldened him, but then again why would he?
If a match between these two lies somewhere down the road he is probably better served to keep his cards close to his chest. Besides, Warrington is well aware that the nature and demands of the boxing business necessitate that a big domestic clash for a world title will have to wait for now.
“I’d imagine that they will try and get Lee a couple of defences at home now, give him a few paydays.”
“A fight with me I think can be built up and left to a later stage, I’ll leave it to Steve Wood [Warrington’s manager] and Eddie Hearn to get me the fights but it’s one that I desperately want.”
“We’ll be looking at another year, maybe a couple of years before it happens. I’ve got to keep winning, and he’s got to keep the title and we’ll go from there.”
As long as both parties are willing when the appropriate time rolls around, this seems like a sensible enough assertion. Neither has shown signs of the kind of nonsense that has prohibited another British pairing in IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook and Amir Khan from stepping in against each other. Let’s not even begin assessing the situation between the two bantamweight titlists Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton.
As Warrington said, they both must keep winning to make a fight between them as big as it can be. However, the featherweight division is a roaming ground for predators.
Nicolas Walters tops the list for the WBA, Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO, and Gary Russell Jr for the WBC. All three are very dangerous assignments within Selby’s realm, and he will find it difficult to avoid opposition of this sort now he stands amongst them.
Warrington’s immediate future does not look quite so daunting, but it won’t be long before he has to tackle a similar calibre of fighter. Let’s hope they can both hold out until they find one another because that fight would be extremely intriguing one; two combination punchers with quick hands and lacking somewhat in power.
Those ingredients should make for a long exciting bout.