YOU’LL do us proud – that’s the message to Josh Warrington from his home city of Leeds as he bids to write a new chapter in his fabulous sporting success story.
Josh will head across the Pennines to defend his IBF world featherweight boxing title for the first time against Belfast’s Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena this evening.
And he will have no shortage of support back in Leeds as he tries to keep hold of the crown he won in such thrilling fashion against Lee Selby at Elland Road in May.
Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake was among those with words of encouragement for Josh today, telling the Yorkshire Evening Post: “He is a Leeds lad loud and proud who has always been a fantastic ambassador for us both in and out of the ring and his commitment, hard work and dedication are an excellent example for young people in our communities. “On behalf of the city, I’d like to wish him the very best of luck this weekend.
“No matter what the result, we are incredibly proud of all he has accomplished.”
Backing also came from Nick Ryle, producer of Fighting For A City, the documentary film that tells the story of Josh’s world title quest.
He said: “For the first time in ages, we won’t be filming Josh in action, but I have absolutely no doubt that he will win against Frampton.
“He’ll be too strong, too focused and too determined. As usual, he’s odds against, but the bookmakers don’t know just how good Josh is at finding an answer.
“Having spent two years making the film with him, we are massive fans and will all be yelling him on in Manchester.”
Fans posting messages of support online included David Beaumont, who tweeted: “Good Luck Josh on Saturday. Let’s do it once again champ.”
Josh will be joined on tonight’s ringwalk by Leeds United captain Liam Cooper.
The defender tweeted that he was “buzzing” at the prospect of following in the footsteps of Whites heroes such as Vinnie Jones and Dominic Matteo, who have accompanied the boxer on ringwalks at previous fights.