The sound of Kaiser Chiefs met another Josh Warrington appearance in Leeds tonight– but the ceremony was a rather different affair to when the band played him into the ring live at Elland Road in May.
Because the city’s first ever boxing world champion was recognised with a special reception at Leeds Civic Hall after his IBF featherweight title win over Lee Selby two months ago.
Warrington’s family, including wife Natasha and six-month-old babies Olivia and Eliza, attended the venue’s Banquet Hall, where Lord Mayor Coun Graham Latty and Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake paid tribute to the fighter.
Coun Latty also gifted him a special civic golden owl after hits by the Kaisers were played to the mingling audience.
The 27-year-old champ told the attendees he had gone to Civic Hall five years ago to meet then mayor Coun Tom Murray.
He said: “I told him I would be bringing world dominance to the city. Five years later, I’ve fulfilled that promise.”
Warrington said he was “very honoured” to be hosted, and spoke of his friends from the LS9 area of the city who had been with him “since day one”. He told how, as a young trainer aged 11, he never saw Leeds fighters get recognition for their achievements.
“We never really had anything to sing and dance about,” he said. “I always said if I could do something, all I want to do is put Leeds on the map in terms of boxing.”
He added: “The city really is getting good recognition now. I’m massively proud of that because I’ve been part of that build-up.”
Coun Blake spoke about Warrington’s work with the Leeds United Supporters’ Club, of which he is now president, and Leeds Rhinos.
She said: “I think the really fantastic thing is that Josh is putting back so much of what he has got from Leeds.”
Fatherhood is treating Warrington well - but it’s quite an adjustment from life in the ring.
He told the YEP: “It keeps me busy. It’s a different kind of business to getting ready for a fight but I love it. I almost missed the first three months of their lives because of the fight.”
After enjoying the World Cup, Warrington is back in training and negotiating for his next fight later this year.