Warrington v Tubieron – We Are Leeds Preview

Josh Warrington, 20-0 (4KO’s), returns home tonight when he faces Filipino Dennis Tubieron, 19-3-2 (8KO’s), at his beloved First Direct Arena in Leeds, backed by a ferocious fan base that look set to test the buildings foundations once more.

At stake will be the lightly regarded vacant WBC international featherweight title and more importantly the mandatory challenger position for the WBC featherweight world championship, recently acquired by the impressive Gary Russell Jnr.

To see Warrington exercise this mandatory option if victorious, which would see him fight Russell Jnr – who demolished the world-class Jhonny Gonzalez in 4 to claim the WBC crown – is hard to believe in the immediate future.

However, the arrival at such a lofty position is testament to the meteoric rise of the Yorkshireman, who announced himself to the wider public eye less than a year ago when retiring former World title challenger and friend Rendall Munroe in 7 rounds.

Evander Holyfield vs Kevin McBride - Will You Watch It?

Since then Warrington has fought on 3 occasions, claiming a further two stoppages, collecting the British, Commonwealth and European featherweight titles along the way. But, it was the night the 24-year old stopped Davide Dieli to claim the EBU title that confirmed to Warrington, his team and promoters that something special was happening in Leeds.

“I walked to the ring against Dieli and I couldn’t believe it.” Warrington said. “I was using the energy from the crowd and I think that’s what you do, using the atmosphere and you can’t get tired because you’ve got that many people shouting your name and you find the energy to throw punches for them as well as yourself but the main thing is you’ve got to keep your discipline in there and you can’t get carried away when they shout.

“I also think it can help when opponents come over. I think the last fight Dieli got spooked, I watched it back on TV and when he’s walking to the ring he’s looking up at the crowd, you see it in his eyes and when he gets in the ring and his corner is facing the crowd and he don’t want to look up, he keeps putting his head down and I think that’s his distraction and I think that played a part that night.”

It’s hard to disagree with Warrington; it was a bewildering night from the moment the Kaiser Chiefs iconic song ‘I predict a riot’ erupted throughout the arena, God only knows what it felt like to Dieli, who was clearly out of his depth.

In Dennis Tubieron, Warrington is stepping up in class, from what we are told and experience tells us and Warrington that the Filipino is unlikely to be unnerved.

“Tubieron has boxed at higher level. I was speaking to Paulie Malignaggi’s trainer a few weeks ago and he’d heard of him, he said he’d seen him sparring over in America and knows he’s got a high work rate. It’s a massive opportunity for him, guys that come out of the Philippines are fighting for their lives so they never just come over for a walkover, and give it their all.”

What Next For Andrey Fedosov? Some “Fun Fights” According To Hearn

One look at Tubieron’s record tells you that this is a fighter who has been stopped early on his last two excursions outside of his native Philippines, once at bantamweight and the latest at lightweight.

His reported high work rate could be his undoing, providing the openings for the accurate and constant output, which has caught the eye of so many Warrington admirers.

“I know I’ve got to be on my game because we are stepping up in level. I’ve got to show I can be at this level and can go beyond. I’m looking to put a good performance on and looking to get the win because I know that keep on winning big things are to come for myself and Leeds.” Warrington concluded.

The reigns will be put on Warrington after this fight I feel, what’s growing in Leeds has to be cultivated. World title fights are absolutely guaranteed in the future, but in such a difficult division there is no rush.

Also on the bill…

Super-featherweight Martin J Ward, 10-0-2 (5KO’s), rematches Maxi Hughes, 13-1-2 (2KO’s), following their enthralling majority draw over 10 rounds in the York Hall in December.

Matchroom wins purse bid for Filip Hrgovic vs. Michael Hunter IBF eliminator

Tyrone Nurse, 30-2 (6KO’s), will be looking to bounce back following a tough loss to Dave Ryan against late replacement Liam Taylor, 11-0 (4KO’s), (subject to commission approval) – who stepped in for the ill Chris Jenkins – for the vacant British light-welterweight title.

Bob Ajisafe, 14-2 (5KO’s), is presented with the opportunity to claim the vacant Commonwealth light-heavyweight title in front of a home crowd against George Kandelaki, 14-12-1 (4KO’s).

Also on a packed undercard top prospects Rocky Fielding, Callum Johnson, Jono Carroll, Reece Cartwright and Isaac Chamberlain all have the chance to impress and move on to bigger and better things in 2015.