'I should have stopped Lee Selby - and I'll stop Carl Frampton if I get the chance.' Josh Warrington promises fireworks in IBF title defence

Josh Warrington dismissed Carl Frampton's punching power and promised to be more ruthless with him than he was against Lee Selby after Frampton warned of a potential knockout of Warrington when the pair fight for the IBF featherweight title.

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 10:06 am
Updated Thursday, 13th December 2018, 10:15 am
Josh Warrington holds aloft the IBF featherweight title after his dramatic win over Lee Selby in May.

Frampton lit the fuse on Wednesday by claiming he was “better in every department” than Warrington and had the ability to “take him out” in Manchester next Saturday, despite Warrington avoiding a single knockdown over the course of his 27-fight career.

The Belfast boxer has a higher stoppage rate than Warrington but his victory over Luke Jackson in August was his first inside the distance since stepping up a division from super-bantamweight and only his second in four years.

Warrington has just six knockout victories on his record but the 28-year-old admitted he had missed an opportunity to stop Selby when he won the IBF featherweight title on points in May and said he would not make the same mistake during his first defence against Frampton.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Carl Frampton stops Australia's Luke Jackson during his last fight at Belfast's Windsor Park in August.

“I think this comes as a response to what I said a few weeks back,” Warrington said. “If I see the stoppage I’m going to go for it.

“One thing that annoyed me about the Selby fight is I know I had him hurt. If I’d really put my foot down I feel I could have got him out of there.

“When someone asked me the question I said ‘you know what? If I get Carl (in trouble) then I’ll go for it. I will.”

Asked if he was wary of Frampton’s power, Warrington said: “Not at all. I’ve been caught by all the big hitters, caught clean as well, head and body, and I’ve never felt hurt at any time. I can put my hand on heart and say that.

“Carl might have been a big puncher at super-bantamweight but I don’t think he’s the same kind of puncher at featherweight. I don’t want to go in there worrying about him knocking me out, I’ll be going in worrying about what I’ve got to do.

“I’ve always had a decent chin and I’ve never been down as an amateur or pro. When you get to a certain level anybody can stop anybody but I’d never go in there dreading Carl’s power.”

Warrington also played down Frampton’s claim that he was a superior boxer and “better than anyone who’s ever fought him, including Lee Selby.”

“I don’t look at Carl as being an elite fighter,” Warrington said. “He’s a very good fighter, a former world champion and you can’t take that away from him, but even an elite fighter like (Vasyl) Lomachenko has been on his backside and been beaten before.

“Carl’s got his weaknesses and I’ll be looking to exploit them on the night.”

The Leeds featherweight, however, echoed Frampton’s view that a divided crowd at Manchester Arena was unlikely to influence in the outcome in the way that a huge attendance of almost 20,000 aided Warrington’s win over Selby at Elland Road.

Frampton claimed much of the UK would be behind him next week, saying “if you’re not from Leeds you won’t support a Leeds man”, but Warrington said: “Since I’ve beaten Lee Selby I’ve won a lot of fans over. A lot of fans have bought in to the way I beat Selby and backed up everything I’ve said over the years.

“But it’s not a popularity contest. It’s a fight at the end of the day so it doesn’t really matter to me too much. With it being 50-50, I don’t know how much influence the crowd will have on either fighter.”