The punching power of the bloody & battered & very average-performing WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood (28-3, 17 KOs) bailed him out on Saturday night, allowing him to come back to TKO challenger Josh Warrington (31-3-1,8 KOs) in round seven at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.
Warrington walked into a right hand from Wood in the seventh round that had him out on his feet, defenseless to stop the follow up barrage from the curly-haired WBA126-lb champion, who put him down on the canvas.
Although Warrington got back to his feet, referee Michael Alexander stopped the fight once he took a good hard look at Josh.
Interestingly, Warrington was so hurt he was facing the audience at the time that it was halted by Alexander. That was an-looking situation, as usually the referee will turn a fighter around before stopping the contest, but noting this case.
Wood used the same style of fighting that he’d employed for his recent rematch with Mauricio Lara, clinching each time Warrington got near, and landing power shots on the outside. In this case, Warrington was beating him up on the inside, making the 35-year-old Wood pay for all the holding he was doing.
The referee Alexander often broke them up on the inside, preventing Warrington from working. Alexander’s decision break the clinches so often helped Wood because he was taking a lot of punishment.
Warrington got sloppy after he was docked a point in round seven for a rabbit punch.After that deduction, Warrington fought like a wild man, rushing forward trying to make up for the lost point, and that’s how Wood was able to catch him.
In the end, Alexander’s point deduction and his constant breaks of the two fighters on the inside saved Wood from losing because Warrington likely would have won without those actions.
After the fight, Warrington expressed interest in a rematch with Wood, saying he’d like to fight him at the City Grounds in Nottingham.
In order for that to happen, the World Boxing Association would need to allow Wood to sidestep his WBA mandatory Otabek Kholmatov for a second time. If not, Wood would need to vacate, which he’s expected to do anyway.
It would be nice to see Wood stay and defend against Kholmatov (11-0,10 KOs) rather than flee the division for the Joe Cordina fight at 130, but that might be too risky for him.
Wood wants to move up the super featherweight division for a payday fight against IBF champion Cordina. That’s a fight that would play out well in the UK.