Leigh Wood (28-3, 17KOs) held onto his WBA featherweight title with a come-from-behind seventh-round knockout win over Josh Warrington (31-3-1,8 KOs) on Saturday night at Sheffield Arena in Sheffield.
With things looking bleak, Wood, 35, caught Warrington with a right hand to the head in the seventh round to hurt him badly.
Wood then unloaded with a flurry of shots that put Warrington on the canvas. When Warrington got back up, his feet were gone, and this resulted in referee Michael Alexander waiving it off without giving him a chance to continue.
Alexander may have saved Wood from losing by taking a point away from Warrington in the seventh for punching behind the head. It was a questionable point deduction, as it wasn’t a blatant station.
Alexander was letting Wood get away with holding nonstop each time Warrington got close to him. You can argue that he should have penalized Wood for holding because it was constant, which may have saved him from getting knocked out by Warrington.
Results & updates will be shown below of tonight’s live boxing from the Sheffield Arena.
– In a surprising outcome, 42-year-old Cecilia Braekhus (37-2-1, 19 KOs) fought WBA junior middleweight female champion Terri Harper (14-1-2, 6 KOs) to a questionable ten round majority draw in the chief support contest.
Braekhus came on strong in the ninth & tenth rounds to dominate Harper with right hand power shots to earn a draw.
Harper used too much movement in the championship round, and failed to stand her ground the way she needed to, given the pressure that was being put on her by Braekhus.
The passive way that Harper fought in rounds nine & ten is the reason she failed to win.
The judges’ scores:
97-93 – Harper
– Kieron Conway (20-3-1, 5KOs) used his stabbing jab to close the right eye of Linus Udofia (18-2, 9 KOs) to force a sixth round referee’s stoppage in a British middleweight title eliminator.
Referee Howard Foster did the sensible thing by stopping the fight two seconds into round six when he observed that Udofia’s right eye was swollen shut, and he wasn’t going to let the contest continue under those conditions.
The fight was competitive, with Conway & Udofia taking turns landing hard power shots. Conway’s swelled up Udofia’s right eye by the fourth, and by the end of the fifth, it was swollen shut.
– Undefeated featherweight Hopey Price (12-0,5 KOs) dropped Connor Coghill (14-1,1 KOs) four times en route scoring a 12th round TKO in a British title eliminator.
Price knocked Coghill down twice in round twelve, ending the fight with a right hand to the midsection that put him down. Referee Bob Williams then called a halt to the bout at 1:29 of the round.
Price dropped Cognhill with a counter right to the head in round six, and knocked him down with a left in round eleven.
While Cogwill was down, Price hit him with a right to the head, but the referee chose not to take a point away for the late hit.
– In an impressive punching display, junior middleweight Junaid Bostan (7-0, 6 KOs) blasted out a game but limited Corey McCulloch (7-4-1, 2 KOs) in a sixth round stoppage. The fight was halted at 2:07 by referee Michael Alexander.
Bostan stunned the 29-year-old Scottish fighter McCulloch with a right hand to the head, causing him to retreat to the ropes.
At that point, the 21-year-old Bostan unleashed a flurry of shots against the defenseless McCulloch. Referee Michael Alexander then stepped in to waive it off.
It was an excellent performance from Bostan, who showed superb power and punch placement. His bodywork did a lot of the damage to McCulloch tonight, as he was clearly bothered by those shots.
Josh Warrington (31-2-1,8 KOs) will attempt to end the short reign of WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood (27-3, 16KOs) tonight in their 2:00 p.m. ET event on DAZN at the Sheffield Arena. The fight is seen by most as a pick ’em type of contest.
Wood, 35, saved his career with a victory over Mauricio Lara in their rematch last May. Thanks to promoter Eddie Hearn’s decision to push for a fast rematch after Lara’s seventh round knockout last February it enabled Wood to take advantage of Mauricio not being physically ready.
That move by Hearn helped Wood because if Lara had been in the same state of readiness in the first fight, he probably would have knocked him out again, and Leigh’s career would have been a dumpster fire.
“This ain’t going to be one-sided. This is going to be backward and forwards with intensity with volatility-heavy punches being thrown by both guys with intention and with history and Legacy on the line,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about tonight’s battle between Leigh Wood & Josh Warrington at the Sheffield Arena, live on DAZN.
Will Leigh Wood have too much power for Warrington?
We saw Warrington get overpowered in his first fight with Mauricio Lara, and their rematch didn’t prove anything because the contest was halted due to Lara’s cuts.
If Wood is able to put hands on Warrington the way Lara did, he could stop him.
“So all of those things lend itself to be one to not miss on the DAZN on Saturday. Legacies on the line, careers on the line. I don’t know, but pride’s on the line. Pride in their city, pride in their country, their history.
“Both guys know each other well from the circuit; they’ve watched each other over the years. Now, when you talk about the best wins from both guys, I think when you talk about Josh Warrington, you talk about [Carl] Frampton, you talk about maybe Kiko Martinez and Galahad, but particularly [Lee] Selby at Ellen Road to win the title.
“Then you go to Leigh Wood, who’s all come at the back end of his career, but what a run. Can Xu, [Michael] Conlan, [Mauricio] Lara, and he’s coming into this fight with a lot of activity, three fights in eight months.
“Josh Warrington has been a little bit more inactive. Would that give him freshness at this age in his career? Will Leigh Wood be tired? I don’t know.
“We can debate it all day long, but when that bell goes, it’s a true 50-50, and no one hand on heart can say this is what will happen in that fight, and that’s when you know you’ve got a belter.
“I think the [Wood-Warrington] winner has a mandatory against [WBA mandatory Otabek] Kholmatov, which is unlikely to happen. He’s not a big fight. The winner [of tonight’s Wood vs. Warrington clash] is going to want the biggest fights, whether that’s in Vegas or New York or a city ground or Ellen Road.
“We got the [IBF] champion at 130 pounds in Joe Cordina. I think either guy could step up to try and become a two-division world champion as well. That’s a massive fight at any stadium in their
“Josh has always wanted that big American fight, and you know that could be on the cards as well, but the winner is going to roll on in his snakes and ladder business of boxing into another mega-fight, and the loser will get a chance to do something else. But both guys are not thinking about that. Just victory on Saturday,” said Hearn.