Boxing: Warrington sets sights on Elland Road title clash with Selby
LEEDS star Josh Warrington has set his sights on an Elland Road world title fight with Lee Selby after maintaining his unbeaten record with victory against Dennis Tubieron at a jam-packed First Direct Arena on Saturday night.
A partisan crowd of 10,000 made a crescendo of noise for Warrington who added the WBC international featherweight title to his armoury by landing what was also an official eliminator for the WBC featherweight crown, held by Gary Russell Jr.
Warrington hailed his Leeds following as the “best fans in the world” – and immediately set his sights on a mouth-watering 2016 IBF world clash with Selby at Elland Road.
Warrington is already a European, Commonwealth and British champion who now also holds the WBC international featherweight crown after his victory against Tubieron improved his record to 21-0.
Welshman Selby will fight for the IBF World title against Russian Evgveny Gradovich on May 30 and Warrington says he will look to defend his European crown before hunting down a clash with the Welshman, who he tipped to win the world title next month.
“I’ve heard Lee Selby saying he’d come to Leeds and give me a good hiding,” said Warrington.
“I look forward to that as Elland Road can be deafening and fighting there would take me to another level.
“He’d better be on his game if he wants to come to Elland Road and silence me.
“I wish Lee Selby all the best for the 30th.
“I think he can win the world title. Then I’d love him to come here.
“I think I’ve got what it takes to beat Lee Selby so let him get his world title and then let’s get it on.
“It would be a cracking fight with Lee Selby. He’s got to win that world title then hopefully we can get it on.”
Reflecting on Saturday night’s incredible atmosphere in which Warrington was joined by former Leeds United favourite Vinnie Jones for his ring walk, the 24-year-old added: “Saturday night will stay with me for the rest of my life. The ring walk was unbelievable. Special memories.
“The Leeds people aren’t just the best fans in country, they’re the best in world. With them behind me, I’ll win a world title.
“I’m just a council estate kid but we get behind our own and everyone’s jumped on the bus.”
Warrington was awarded a 119-109, 119-110 and 119-109 victory on the judges’ scorecards and had the better of the opening round, landing some crisp shots while Tubieron looked a little wild at times throwing the right hand.
The Filipino already looked to be tiring and while he was game enough, his shots were having little effect on Warrington who continued to press.
Tubieron was busier in the next as he tried to apply pressure but again Warrington was unfazed and responded with two good left hands in the closing stages.
Both men were trading on the inside and came perilously close to clashing heads several times in the fourth but, when given space, Warrington landed a useful straight right early in the next.
Tubieron responded well but after Warrington landed another right the 24-year-old unloaded a succession of punches and his opponent did well to make it to the bell in a round lengthened by an apparent timekeeping error.
The next was shortened to atone but Warrington was back in control in the seventh, landing almost at will before an impressive left stalled his momentum.
Warrington continued to dominate in the eighth and ninth, landing in flurries, but Tubieron wore them well without offering anything in response.
Both men inevitably tired in the latter stages and Warrington closed out a convincing but hard-fought victory.
“I’ve got a lot more to offer,” said Warrington.
“Credit to Dennis - he just wouldn’t go down.”