Josh Warrington: Prep’ done, weigh-in done, now it’s ‘go time’ against IBF world featherweight challenger Sofiane Takoucht

All the weeks of intense training and sparring is about to pay off as I put my IBF Featherweight title on the line against Sofiane Takoucht tonight.

Josh Warrington weighs in at Leeds Corn Exchange for the Sofiane Takoucht fight at the First Direct Leeds Arean on Saturday. PIC: Steve Riding
Josh Warrington weighs in at Leeds Corn Exchange for the Sofiane Takoucht fight at the First Direct Leeds Arean on Saturday. PIC: Steve Riding

By Wednesday’s press conference, the majority of my training had been done. There is nothing else you can really do to improve your physical attributes.

You can’t get any fitter or any stronger in these last few days. You are just managing that last bit of weight. Meals are smaller and you don’t have too much energy to be doing 10 rounds, 12 rounds of pad work.

Yesterday was weigh-in day. For the weigh-ins, I get up and have a coffee and then see where I am on the weight.If I am a pound or so heavy I might have to go for a walk and refresh the mind to stay nice and relaxed.

Josh Warrington in good shape at the weigh-in. PIC: Steve Riding

I always double check that I am on the weight on my own scales before I leave for the venue. And that is normally around half and hour before the official weigh-in opens.

The atmosphere for yesterday’s weigh-in at the Corn Exchange was brilliant, and I want to thank the fans that turned out to support me.

After I went on the scales, I had a series of drinks that I drink to keep hydrated and get all the sources and minerals I need back in the body.

I just sip away at them and then a few hours after that I ate and then rested up. Leading up to the weigh-in I am eating minimal amounts, just what you have to, to get you through the day. You don’t want to put too much into your body so you shock it because your stomach shrinks.

Josh Warrington and Sofiane Takoucht acknowledge the crowd at the weigh-in. PIC: Steve Riding

So you don’t want to have that scenario where you are making yourself sick. If I can get sleeping in the afternoon, that is usually perfect and then I go out with a few of my pals and normally my missus on a night time.

And I have a big carby dish, pasta, turkey and spinach and stuff like that.

And that is me, I normally get my head down about 10.30pm or 11pm. With the IBF they have a ruling where you get weighed in a second time on the day of the fight. You can’t be over by 10 pounds.

The limit for weigh-in day is 126 pounds and in that 24 hours, less than that actually, you are not supposed to go any higher than 136 pounds. So we have another weigh-in, which is a little bit quieter than yesterday’s one. It is usually just a few officials in a hotel room in Leeds and they just check your weight.

If you fail it, if you are champion, you lose your title and if you are a challenger you lose your right to fight for that title. It is pretty serious.

Normally I am fine, everything I have eaten I can burn it off really quickly.

And then after that I just spend the day relaxing. I try and be as calm as possible. Because subconsciously you are thinking about the fight and everytime you put it to the forefront of your mind, you have a little bit of an adrenaline rush.

Your heart starts getting a bit faster, your palms start to get sweaty and you don’t want to burn too much energy just thinking about it.

It is about trying to just relax.

I don’t like a too-busy dressing room backstage but, in recent years, it has been absolutely manic. We try and keep it for the team. But people from back stage sometimes come wondering in. People from the crowd sometimes get backstage and pop in and say hello. Sometimes, if there is a celebrity guest there; Chris Moyles and Toby Tarrant from Radio X were they last time and they popped in and said hello.

If there is a footballer who has come along, they might pop in and say ‘hi’ as well.

But, normally, it is just the team, we will get in there and the team will have everything set up in terms of drinks and snacks. They will have all the tape and bandages ready to wrap my hands.

We get in there, I normally get myself wrapped up for around 8pm. Get my boots on, change into my shorts and then get a light warm-up.

With around 30 minutes to go, the floor manager comes in and gives you a heads up.

Then we know when to get warm and when to prepare for the ring walk.

Once we get the call to do the ring walk, that’s it.

It’s go time.