Frustrated Leeds Warrior Josh Warrington receives response after Leigh Wood City Ground plea
Warrington suffered a knockout defeat in the seventh round against Wood on Saturday night in Sheffield. The Leeds Warrior has since expressed his frustration and belief that he should have been given the opportunity to gather himself in the corner between rounds before the fight was waved off by the referee.
The pair did battle for the WBA title in front of a crowd of close to 10,000 at Utilita Arena Sheffield and Warrington had been piling on the pressure prior to the stoppage. Wood looked uncomfortable at stages as he took clubbing hooks from the challenger, who was bidding to become a three-time world title holder. But right at the end of round seven Wood caught his man with a clean shot and followed it up with a clinical barrage to send Warrington to the canvas. Although the bell rang as Warrington got back to his feet and returned unsteadily to his corner, the referee stopped the fight.
“I’m devastated,” said Warrington. “I was cruising that fight, ahead on all cards, then I switched off for a second. I thought I would be given the opportunity to sit down, gather myself, but this was one bad night at the office. This is my seventh world title fight, I should be given the opportunity to carry on [in this fight]. My senses were all with me, I heard the bell go. I’ve been out of the ring for 10 months, I felt at times I was really coming into it. He caught me with a good shot, I felt good, I listened to the count six, seven, eight and then he [the referee] waves off the fight. I’m disappointed, I feel let down. I don’t feel he’s done me justice. The stoppage is what it is on the record.”
Warrington went on to credit Wood for taking his chance in round seven and expressed his hope that the Nottingham man would agree to a rematch in May.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed after the bout that he was in favour of a rematch at the City Ground next year, saying: "It's going to take a big fight for Leigh Wood at the City Ground. I want to see the fight back. If Josh would have turned round, they would have 100 per cent let the fight carry on. If the ref did call it off at eight, it was too early because he should have given him the opportunity to turn around. The ref said to me 'he wouldn't turn round and if he doesn't turn round I can't let him continue'. When you look at frontrunners for sizes of fights at the City Ground, I think the rematch is probably the biggest one."
Warrington has now received signal from Wood that the rematch could take place. Responding to Warrington on Instagram the 35-year-old said: “Respect. Credit to our sport. Let’s do it again.”
All three ringside judges had Warrington ahead when the fight was stopped. David Singh and Jean Robert Laine returned scorecards of 55-59 Warrington, while Howard Foster scored it 56-58 to the Leeds fighter.