By: Sean Crose
“I’m not offended that I am not the favorite,” former IBF featherweight world titlist Josh Warrington said on the eve of his Saturday fight with WBA featherweight world titlist Leigh Wood. “If anything it’s motivation. Leigh is the champion, and I’ve been given this opportunity so I am very grateful for that. What does annoy me is being written off, I’m finished, that’s given me the bit between my teeth. Last year I dominated Kiko Martinez inside seven rounds and I dominated the second half of the Lopez fight, and people are talking about how well he’s done since our fight.”
The truth is that Warrington, a very good fighter, lost his IBF featherweight title to Luis Lopez via majority decision last December. Now he has a chance to become a world titlist once again. “I’m hungry,” he said during the press conference in the leadup to this weekend’s bout. “I haven’t felt like this for a long time and throughout this camp and the whole year, my head has been in a very good place, focused, and I think that the only reason I’ve lost before is mindset. Physically I’m always good, I live in the gym and I am obsessed with training, so the mindset has let me down in the past.”
Wood himself appeared to be eyeing the challenge that is Warrington realistically. “Josh has had some really good wins,” he said, “possibly better than mine. He’s here because of those credentials, not any other reason. It’s going to be an electric atmosphere and I’m expecting it to be the best I’ve ever witnessed, especially on my ring walk, we’ve sold more tickets than we’ve ever done so it’s going to be a great night and one that will go down in history. I want to (be)remembered as one of the best featherweights from this country.”
Although he’d love a stellar win, Wood made it clear he’ll simply be happy with a well earned victory on Saturday when he and Warrington square off in Sheffield, England. “A KO is a possibility,” he said. “I am not going to go out there banking on knocking him out, but I am going to be dominant. I know Josh is very tough, I’ve been ringside for a number of his fights, especially the Kiko fight, that sticks out for me. He got hurt and he was close to being stopped himself when he got his stoppage, so I know he can bite down and give everything he needs to, but at what cost because there will be times in this fight when he needs to work extremely hard just to win a moment, and I will make him pay for those moments.”
The Wood-Warrington fight will be broadcast live on the DAZN in the United States on Saturday afternoon, 2PM eastern time.
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