LEEDS’ LORD of the ring Josh Warrington has revealed his dream to be crowned world champion – at Elland Road.
Warrington – a Leeds United fan – will square up to Davide Diele for the vacant European Featherweight title at the city’s First Direct Arena on Saturday, October 4, live on Sky Sports.
And he hopes that could lead to a showdown with stablemate Lee Selby, who fights Joel Brunker in an IBF Featherweight title final eliminator on October 11 in London.
“If Selby goes on to win a world, then this time next year we could have a big domestic fight,” said Warrington.
“I won the British at Leeds Arena and now it’s the European at the same arena. I’ve got to keep winning, but after fighting at somewhere like Leeds Arena I’d love to walk out of the tunnel at Elland Road for a big World title fight. I’d love that.”
Victory a week tomorrow would see Warrington secure his fourth title in 13 months.
The 23-year-old defeated Ian Bailey to become the English Featherweight champion in September, 2013 and then went on to capture the Commonwealth and British 126lbs titles after outclassing former World title challenger Rendall Munroe and Belfast’s Martin Lindsay respectively.
Those impressive performances have garnered the Leeds native a huge fan base in his home city and having sold 1,500 tickets himself for next week’s fight, Warrington says he has seen his stock rise in and out of the ring.
“My own ticket sales have gone through the roof for this one,” said Warrington. “I know the box office is doing well so I’m expecting good numbers like last time.
“This whole thing keeps building and my name keeps getting put about and that’s a good thing. Its progression.”
He added: “Between the Munroe and Lindsay ones there wasn’t a real massive gap so I didn’t really go anywhere like into town or anything like that.
“The Lindsay fight brought more recognition with people seeing it on a Wednesday night, they watched it and saw the atmosphere. I had a bit of time off afterwards and a lot of people were coming up to me to say hello and wish me well.”
The latest title shot is part of the learning experience for Warrington and he admitted: “It’s all come very quickly, but I think with every fight I’ve experienced a little bit more, I’ve become a better boxer and I keep on progressing and keep taking the opportunities with both hands.
“I’m loving it at the moment. An opportunity has come for the European and I think it’s the perfect opportunity so it’s good to get going again.
“Confidence is through the roof after the last couple of wins and it’s a good time to step up.”
Warrington’s clash with Dieli is part of a night of action which also features the return of former two-weight World champion Ricky Burns, who makes his debut at Light-Welterweight against Leonardo Gonzalez.
Light-Middleweight World title challenger Brian Rose returns to the ring against Juan Manuel Bonanni, unbeaten Super-Middleweight sensation Callum Smith defends his WBC International title and Tyrone Nurse fights for the vacant Commonwealth Light Welterweight title.
Tickets are on sale now priced £30, £40 and £60 from the First Direct Arena on 0844 248 1585 and at www.firstdirectarena.com
VIP tickets priced at £120 are available exclusively from Matchroom Boxing on 01277 359900 and atwww.matchroomboxing.com