It’s a fight that British boxing fans expected, indeed, have been waiting for: Josh Warrington vs Leigh Wood is set for Sheffield on Saturday October 7 – live worldwide on DAZN.
32-year-old Leeds warrior Warrington, 31-2-1(8) – last seen dropping a close decision to Luis Alberto Lopez in December , says: “Well, I’m allowed to say that we’re negotiating, and my terms have been agreed, for a fight against Leigh Wood, on October 7” Warrington said. “My terms have been agreed, so I’m happy; it’s on them now, the ball is in their court. It will be nearly ten months since I’ve boxed; when you fall off the horse, you want to jump back on straight away, but that’s the thing about boxing it can be a little bit frustrating.”
The Warrington-Wood fight will be a big event here in Sheffield. Wood, two years older than Warrington and currently 27-3(16), is coming off that revenge win over common opponent Mauricio Lara.
Lara, making his name as a Mexican dangerman, stopped Warrington back in February of 2021, the rematch ending in a technical decision. Lara then went on to rip Wood’s WBA belt in February of this year before Wood got his belt back against an over-the-weight Lara in May.
Now, against each other, Wood and Warrington could put on a special fight, a great fight. This featherweight Battle of Britain will really pull in the fans, as well as the opinions on who wins, and how. Wood has been in some real thrillers in his time, as has Warrington. Put them together, as it seems will happen soon, and we will have an almost guaranteed action fight.
On past challenges and opportunities:
“There were moments I doubted if I’d ever get a chance at the big fights. Deep down, I always believed I had the skill and talent to win at this level, but opportunities seemed fleeting. I remember days in Sheffield, training hard, hearing about potential fights that never materialized. It was heartbreaking. I was so eager for a shot, I once even considered stepping in on short notice for Frampton when his opponent pulled out. I felt that desperation.”
On how his upcoming fight was arranged:
“My journey had been unique. After winning the World Title, I was mandated to defend against Conlan due to some title logistics. Post that, my eyes were set on Josh, given his recent fight for the World Title. With the history and rivalry between our cities and clubs, a bout with him at the City Ground seemed the obvious choice. Though the venue changed, the essence of the fight remained, so we decided to move forward.”
On Josh’s fighting style:
“I wouldn’t label Josh as ‘dirty’. He knows how to manage close encounters in the ring, angling his head and adjusting his stance just right. If an opponent isn’t aware of these tactics, unintentional head clashes can occur, leading to cuts. Other fighters who’ve faced him haven’t faced such issues, which says something about how you need to approach a bout with him.”
On the anticipated atmosphere of the fight:
“I’m expecting electric vibes. The energy during the Conlan fight was indescribable. Fans tend to feed off each other’s energy. With both our fanbases present, the atmosphere is bound to be charged and relentless.”
On his knockout potential against Josh:
“Having witnessed Josh’s last three fights up close, I’ve seen him vulnerable. While he’s undoubtedly resilient, I don’t think he’s faced someone with my power and strategic thinking. I’ve analyzed Lara’s approach – a formidable puncher, but often rushing and missing opportunities. I consider myself one of the most powerful and tactically astute fighters in our division.”
On predictions for the fight:
“Josh tends to repeat certain patterns in his fights, and I’m confident in exploiting those. My strategy involves not just holding my ground but also taking the offensive when required. We’re both here with a singular aim – victory. I know my game plan, and I’m sure of executing it.”
On personal parallels with Josh:
“In many ways, Josh is akin to a version of me from Leeds. He’s a family-oriented person, just like me. But while we share certain traits and values, I believe my boxing style and power edge him out. Off the ring, we might even enjoy a drink post-fight, but come fight night, it’s all business.”
On when he became aware of Leigh:
“Leigh and I were pretty much on the same level when I started making my name. We both aimed for British and domestic title fights, and he’d occasionally mention me on Twitter. I honestly thought our paths would intersect sooner. It’s really only been in the past 12 to 18 months that he’s prominently entered my radar.”
On desiring this fight:
“Absolutely, this fight felt inevitable. The UK has witnessed a surge in boxing interest, and nothing draws fans like a domestic rivalry. I’ve had my fair share: Selby, Frampton, Kid Galahad – fans adore these matchups. Interestingly, I’ve inadvertently shaped Leigh’s career. Had I defeated Lara without the audience, Leigh wouldn’t have gotten his shot against Can Xu. It’s fascinating how intertwined our journeys have been.”
Addressing recent performances and doubters:
“Look, if I let the critics dictate my confidence, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Despite a shaky start in my last fight, I finished strong. I genuinely believe I’m in my prime and at the top of my game. My record might indicate a slump, but I’m feeling more charged than ever.”
On anticipated fight atmosphere:
“Sheffield’s energy will be off the charts, especially with Huddersfield playing. It’ll be electrifying in the arena. This is what I live for. When you’re in that ring, amidst the punches and the roars, you have to take a moment to acknowledge – ‘I’m living my dream’. The sheer thrill of these moments is unparalleled.”
On similarities with Leigh:
“There’s a certain camaraderie I share with fighters like Leigh and Carl Frampton. Sure, fans anticipate a fierce brawl when we face each other, but there’s mutual respect off the ring. We’re both old school, dedicated to our craft. We’re not about creating unnecessary drama at press conferences. Our lives revolve around training hard, then returning to our families. We save the theatrics for the ring. Post-fight? It’s all about respect and camaraderie.”
Who wins, Wood or Warrington? You could mark this one down as a genuine 50-50 affair.
When is Wood vs Warrington?
- Date: Saturday, October 7
- Starting Time: 7 p.m. UK / 2 p.m. ET
- Main Event Approximate Walk: 10 p.m. UK / 5 p.m. ET
(Note: The timings might shift a bit based on how the undercard fights play out.)
Streaming Info: Planning on tuning in? Good news! The entire card will be broadcast live on DAZN, covering over 200 countries worldwide.
Venue: All the action will take place at the renowned Utilita Arena located in Sheffield, England.
The Fight Card:
- Main Event: Leigh Wood squares off against Josh Warrington, putting Wood’s WBA world featherweight title on the line.
- Terri Harper takes on Cecilia Braekhus with the WBA and WBO women’s light middleweight titles up for grabs.
- Hopey Price is set to fight Connor Coghill in a featherweight clash.
- Kieron Conway will be duking it out with Linus Udofia in the middleweight division.
- Junaid Bostan and Corey McCulloch are pitted against each other in a super-welterweight bout.
- Cameron Vuong battles Engel Gomez in a super-featherweight contest.
- Last but not least, Koby McNamara faces Francisco Rodriguez in the bantamweight division.