Leeds featherweight star Josh Warrington overcame a few tricky moments against Denmark’s previously unbeaten Dennis Ceylan last night to put himself in pole position for a world title shot with Lee Selby.
Warrington was always in control but it took 10 rounds for the 26-year-old to stop the Dane.
“Ceylan was here to take an opportunity and to spoil the party,” Warrington said in the immediate aftermath.
“There were times in there where I wanted it so badly; I let that overcome my boxing. Then, when I started listening to my dad, we got the finish… Dad gave me the riot act about boxing cleaner and being nine minutes from a world title shot.”
Ceylan started brightly and edged the opening few rounds of the fight, but it soon became apparent that Warrington was simply biding his time before unleashing some huge shots and taking over the fight.
“I think from about the third round onwards I had him hurt. I think I was just going for it a bit too much. I was smothering my own work.”
Warrington began to assert his dominance over the tiring Ceylan during the middle rounds, upping the tempo and displaying sparkling footwork as Ceylan began to lose his shape.
Victory was secured after Warrington felled the Dane twice in the 10th round after a flurry of punches to head and body, leaving the referee to stop the fight after brave Ceylan regained his feet on the count of nine.
“I know I’ve got that power when I land them right,” was how Warrington described his ferocious display of combination punching.
Warrington is now the mandatory challenger for Welsh rival Lee Selby’s IBF title and is eager to get the fight made.
“The fight that I want is Lee Selby, to fight for that world title. The thousands of people who come to see me want to see that fight.”
Whilst Warrington is willing to travel to Wales for the fight, both he and promoters Frank Warren/Queensberry Promotions are hoping to arrange the clash within the city.
“Everyone knows people would turn out in their thousands at Elland Road,” Warrington said. “Big stadium fights, everyone loves them. After (winning) the British title, I always said I wanted to be Leeds’ first (world champion).”
Warrington’s promotional team have stated that an offer is on the table for Selby and when the fight is made, Warrington only sees one result.
He added: “There’s no other outcome, I’m winning that fight. I’m winning that world title.
“I’ve dreamt about it, I want it too much.
“Once that fight comes, I’ve got 36 minutes in a squared ring, and I’m not going to let that opportunity slip.”
Meanwhile, Great Britain amateur Jack Bateson continued his dominant start to life in the professional ranks after halting Poland’s outgunned Kamil Jaworek in the second round on the undercard of the Warrington fight.
The Leeds bantamweight was landing at will, using footwork to float in and out of range, before he pinned his opponent on the ropes and unleashed a flurry of hooks to the body.
After slipping a wild counter punch, Bateson uncorked a perfect right hand to drop Jaworek to the canvas, forcing the referee to wave the fight off.
Bateson looks set to be a regular feature of the Leeds boxing scene for some years based on his performances so far.
Fellow Leeds fighter Damon Jones was heartbreakingly and controversially stopped in his British super-welterweight eliminator against unbeaten Liverpudlian JJ Metcalf.
The fight was a classic affair, with Jones landing as Metcalf tried to work his way on the inside.
When Metcalf did however, he got to Jones, who found himself on the canvas twice in the second round with a bloodied nose.
Jones however rallied superbly, before Metcalf again knocked him down twice in the sixth round.
Regaining his feet after a body shot on the second occasion, Jones looked able to continue, but the fight was waived off by the referee.
Huddersfield’s Tyrone Nurse also lost this British light-welterewight title on points against highly touted Chorley man Jack Catterall in an engaging and close 12-round affair, the judges ultimately favouring Catterall’s heavier shots as opposed to Nurse’s cute defence.