Leeds boxing champion Josh Warrington has landed some knockout support for his big hometown bout this weekend.
Josh will be joined on his walk to the ring at the city’s First Direct Arena on Saturday night by Leeds United cult hero Vinnie Jones.
And the 24-year-old featherweight says getting the former footballer’s backing has been ideal preparation for his meeting with Filipino fighter Dennis Tubieron.
Josh told Sky Sports: “Vinnie’s the man, he was loved at Leeds. It’s an absolute honour to have him beside us.”
He added: “It does feel like the whole city has got behind us. There’s something special about Leeds. We’ve always been jealous of the sporting success in other cities and now we are doing it, living the dream.”
Vinnie can be assured of a rapturous reception on his return to Leeds, with United fans making up a sizeable proportion of Josh’s following.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post last month about his trips back to the city, he said: “It really is like coming home.
“When I came up last March [for an appearance at half-time during a Leeds game] it was so emotional. Going on the pitch, I got goosebumps.”
Vinnie, now 50, played a key role in United’s fondly-remembered promotion winning side of 1989-90.
He carved out a career as a Hollywood actor after retiring from the game, appearing in films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
Josh’s previous ring walk partners include ex-United captain Dominic Matteo and Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock.
The boxer today took part in an open training session at the Light centre in the middle of Leeds.
YEP readers are being urged to send Josh their good luck messages ahead of Saturday’s fight, which is close to a 10,000 sell-out and will also be shown on Sky Sports.
Messages can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/YEP.newspaper or tweeted @LeedsNews.