‘I feel let down’ - Josh Warrington frustrated by knockout decision in Leigh Wood defeat as he regrets ‘one-second’ switch off
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A devastated Josh Warrington believed he should have been given the chance to ‘gather himself’ in his corner after seeing his world-title fight against Leigh Wood waved off between the seventh and eighth rounds in Sheffield.
The former IBF featherweight champion was bidding to become a three-time world champion as he faced Nottingham native Wood for the WBA strap. It was his first time back in the ring since December as he dominated the opening six rounds, taking an especially-strong grip on the contest between rounds three and six.
Wood managed to keep himself in the bout under some intense close-quarter hits from Warrington and at the end of the seventh landed a devastating combination to send the Leeds man to the mat. The bell rang as Warrington got to his feet and stumbled back to his corner.
The referee continued his count before waving the fight off, in a disappointing end for the Leeds Warrior after an impressive display. Reflecting after the bout, Warrington felt he should have been given the chance to gather himself in his corner.
“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.”
He added: “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.”
Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn felt the referee made the right decision, as he believed Warrington “didn’t have his senses to carry on.”
Hearn added: “Josh switched off for a second and it was goodnight Vienna. Josh was desperate to carry on and he was trying to compose himself. He didn’t have his senses to carry on. The ref made the right decision, what a thriller.”
Both fighters appeared open to a rematch with Wood keen to fight at the City Ground, the home of Nottingham Forest, next. However, if there is to be a rematch Wood and has team have made it clear it will not be at featherweight. On his desire for a rematch, Warrington said: “Ideally, I’d like to run it back. I felt like I was cruising and at times I was a little rusty but it was a good fight.”