Boxing: Leeds’s own Josh Warrington wins European featherweight title

Josh Warrington won the vacant European featherweight title in his home city with a fourth-round TKO of Davide Dieli.
Josh Warrington. PIC: Jonathan GawthorpeJosh Warrington. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Josh Warrington. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Roared on by a boisterous partisan crowd, the unbeaten Warrington knocked his Italian opponent down in the fourth wih a straight right before a barrage immediately after prompted the referee to halt the contest.

It was just the 23-year-old’s third victory inside the distance in 19 fights and the victory has ensured Warrington is now the British, Commonwealth and European champion.

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Warrington admitted keeping his concentration in the midst of such raucous support proved crucial to his hopes of victory.

“That was unbelievable and it’s hard not to get carried away but I had to keep my focus and I think that’s the difference between being at a championship level and not,” he said.

“Just keep my focus and take that energy off the crowd into the ring.”

As for who he would like to face next, the Yorkshireman added: “It’s all about progression so whoever wants to come over to Leeds, I’ll fight anybody.”

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His promoter Eddie Hearn was taken aback by the reception Warrington was given, but is keen to keep the pressure of his young charge’s shoulders.

“He’s 23 years old. That’s the thing we have to look at in managing his career now,” said Hearn.

People will want him to go, go, go, go but sometimes we’ve just got to rein him in a little bit and make sure he progresses and learns his match properly, because with his position now and his ranking, he can move forward to the world level. There’s no rush to do so, the fans here will want him to progress and he will progress.

“We’ve got something major here.”