Josh Warrington salutes Frank Warren as world champion eyes exciting last chapters under Eddie Hearn
Now back with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing team, Warrington is eyeing some exciting final chapters in unifying the featherweight division before bidding to become a two-weight world champion.
Warrington initially signed a five-fight deal with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing stable back in August 2014 but the two parties went their separate ways in December 2016.
The featherweight joined Warren two weeks later with the Leeds fighter seeking a world title shot which arrived in the ultimate style in May 2018 when taking on Lee Selby at a packed Elland Road.
Warrington produced a brilliant victory to become IBF featherweight champion of the world and the Leeds puncher then successfully defended his title in an epic fight against former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena in December 2018.
Two more successful defences of his IBF belt against Kid Galahad and Sofiane Takoucht followed but Warrington then rejoined Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing team last month following the conclusion of his promotional agreement with Warren.
Warren said his team had delivered for Warrington on every level and helped him realise his goals in the sport and Warrington says there was no chance of leaving on bad terms.
Warrington told the YEP: “When I turned over with Frank at the end of 2016 I said to him ‘if you can deliver us a world title shot then I’d be more than grateful.’
“I said ‘if you can deliver it at Elland Road then bloody hell you have pulled it all out there.’
“He delivered that, then we got the Carl Frampton fight and I’ll never forget those moments. I owe him a lot for that.
“Obviously things happen in boxing and sometimes you have got to do these little changes for your best and moving forward.
“We are talking about fighting in the States and Eddie has got them connections there so it just made sense.
“Eddie is obviously pleased to have us back and he’s grown since I have been away from him so we are looking to some good nights ahead in the last couple of chapters.”
Warrington now says his first fight back with Hearn has to come against one of the sport’s three other featherweight world champions or even multiple weight world champion Leo Santa Cruz.
After three successful defences of his IBF belt, the 29-year-old Yorkshireman is yearning to take on either WBC belt holder Shakur Stevenson, WBC king Gary Russell Jr, WBA (regular) champion Xu Can or even WBA super featherweight supremo Santa Cruz in his next fight.
Warrington is hoping Hearn can work the oracle with a view to fighting in either May or June and most likely either at Headingley or in the United States.
“We’ve talked about Headingley and we’ve talked about going to the States,” said Warrington.
“I have beaten everyone over here and it has to be another one of the other champions next.
“I’m desperate for it now - Shakur Stevenson, Gary Russell Jr, Can Xu, any one of them can have it and even Leo Santa Cruz has come back into it.
“All I want to do is win that Ring Magazine belt, unify the division and then no one can argue with that.
“If I go and beat another one of the champions I will be reigned as the very, very best in the world at 9st.
“After that, if there’s a chance to win another belt and go on and be undisputed champion that would be fantastic. If not, I will consider moving up and winning another belt in another division.”
Explaining the latest with arranging the next fight, Warrington said: “I’m just waiting for the phone to go.
“The phone can go from Eddie at any second.
“I think we are looking at around May or June time so that’s what we are aiming towards.
“It could be Headingley, I know they have been working very closely with the Leeds Rhinos lot and they are very keen to host the event as well.
“It’s just about who we can get over here and how much they are going to cost.”