UNDEFEATED Leeds boxing champion Josh Warrington has hit back at Dennis Ceylan’s claims that he is focussing more on Lee Selby, insisting: “you have got to have a vision and mine is the world title”.
Twenty-six-year old Warrington will take on Danish challenger Ceylan at First Direct Arena on Saturday evening for a Final Eliminator for a shot at the IBF World Featherweight Championship belt held by Selby.
The winner of Saturday night’s bout in Leeds will then be in line to take on Selby in a fight that would have to take place by March next year.
Warrington has made no secret of his desire to face the world champion Welshman and talk has already been rife about a possible date and venue for the would-be Spring match-up between the two featherweight boxing stars.
Ceylan, though, believes that Warrington is playing a “dangerous” game openly discussing the prospect of taking on and potentially beating Selby.
But Warrington sees little wrong with highlighting his grand ambitions with the Leeds fighter stressing that focussing on the bigger picture has already served him well in his so far perfect career.
“You have got to have an idea of where you want to go,” said Warrington.
“You have got to have a vision, you have got to have a focus and my focus is to win that world title.
“I have dreamt about it many times and it’s like when I first started my career as a professional boxer and I wanted to win the British title.
“That’s not to say that I wasn’t looking at my pro debut and my second fight and my third fight.
“I always kept on thinking about the British title even though I was nowhere near it.
“I was just climbing the ladder and that’s just the same here.”
Speaking at yesterday’s pre-fight press conference at Leeds City Museum, 28-year-old Dane Ceylan declared his belief that Warrington was not paying enough attention to the immediate task in hand.
Ceylan reasoned: “I think Josh is more concentrating about Lee Selby than this fight and for him I think that might be a little bit dangerous, for him to think past me.”
But Warrington was then quick to highlight the potential threat offered by Ceylan who has been handed a golden opportunity at a world title Final Eliminator, seven months after drawing with Isaac Lowe.
Warrington, though, believes he will have too many guns for his opponent who has lost twice in a 20-fight career.
Ceylan will also be returning to the ring after test positive for cocaine use in June forcing the British Boxing Board of Control to cancel his scheduled July fight with Sheffield’s Kid Galahad.
Ceylan admitted to taking the social drug, declaring his act was “a mistake and a moment of weakness” for which he was “deeply sorry”.
Warrington added: “I know that Dennis is the fighter in front of me and he is going to come and give it absolutely everything.
“He has been given a massive opportunity.
“He has just come off a technical draw and all of a sudden he is fighting in an eliminator for a world title.
“He is going to fight out of his skin. He has probably trained the hardest he’s ever trained.
“But I have been there, I have done the hard 12 rounds, I have fought the seven-foot giant Japanese fellas, I have fought the little mean Spanish Kiko Martinez and the Patrick Hylands and the Joel Brunkers who have been all around the world.
“I have mixed with that calibre and I know how to come through it. I can fight on the back foot for 12 rounds if I need to or I can push forward and have a high volume of punches and go forward.
“I can do that but can he?
“Can he who has only done 12 rounds once and to be honest when he won that fight against Ryan Walsh, Ryan Walsh gave him the fight because he fell asleep and let him take it.
“This time he is going to have someone who just wants to hurt him and who wants to take the fight to him. How he will deal with that I don’t know.”
World middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is to defend his WBO title against Canadian David Lemieux in December.
The 28-year-old’s meeting with Lemieux on December 16 will be at a venue to be confirmed in Montreal and Saunders sees a win over the Canadian as a step to setting up a contest with Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovokin, holder of the unified WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight titles.
Saunders said: “I don’t just want the dog meat that Golovkin has left behind. I want the dog himself, and when I come through this, I will have him.”
“Once I beat Lemieux, I’ll be moving onto bigger fish: the winner of the rematch between (Saul) Canelo (Alvarez) and Golovkin. I’m looking forward to a great fight.”
Lemieux said: “Saunders is about to get destroyed. I’m going to be extremely ready for this fight and I’m going to inflict a lot of pain on Saunders.”