By: Sean Crose
“It’s a very tough fight,” says IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington on the eve of this title defense against Luis Alberto Lopez on Saturday in Britain. “Luis, he’s full on confidence isn’t he? He’s like a kid on whizz walking around like Ric Flair. He’s going to be full of confidence. He’s blasted out a few guys over in the States and in Mexico but I’m not them guys.” The 31-1-1 Warrington has held the IBF strap since stopping Kiko Martinez last March. This will be his first title defense, though he previously held the IBF belt for several years before being stopped by Mauricio Lara back in 2021 (suffice to say, he fought Lara to a draw in the rematch).
“I’ve been in this position all throughout my career,” Warrington said during a fight week press conference. “I wasn’t meant to get this position. I wasn’t meant to win a European Title, I wasn’t meant to get a World Title. I’ve always been an underdog.” Although he’s confident walking in to this weekend’s bout, Warrington still feels the 26-2 Lopez needs to be taken seriously. “Any fight at this level is always going to be a hard fight,” he said, “because he’s got himself into mandatory position. He’s beaten some decent guys along the way but I just don’t think he’s mixed in the same level that I’ve been in with. He’s certainly not had a fight like me.”
Needless to say, Warrington is thrilled to be fighting in front of a hometown crowd in Leeds this weekend. “He’s coming into the Lion’s Den,” the 32 year old said of challenger Lopez. “They can’t be in the ring with me, but it’s a f——g hell of an atmosphere! I feed off that energy. Once I walk out into that arena I’m a man possessed and do what I have to do to keep hold of that belt. I’ve been around haven’t I? A lot of these young fighters are going to be full of confidence. They’re going to be excited. I think they forget, sometimes my name doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I’m not asking for it but I’ve been in with challengers all throughout my career. I’ve just got to concentrate on what I do best and I believe it will be enough to get me a win on Saturday night.”
The Warrington-Lopez match will be aired live in the States on DAZN Saturday starting at 4 PM eastern time.
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