When he next steps through the ropes, Josh Warrington will tell himself he isn’t dreaming. Although he has previously appeared on an undercard at Elland Road, the massive Leeds United fan has never headlined at the famous football ground. That, though, all changes on September 27 when Warrington defends his English featherweight title against Ian Bailey, and – with a supporting cast of Tommy Coyle, Adil Anwar, and Gary Sykes – Josh is promising Yorkshire boxing fans an unforgettable evening.
“The last time I boxed was at the Town Hall and it was an electric atmosphere,” said Josh, who is undefeated in 14 fights. “It’s something I’ll never forget, especially walking out to the Leeds United anthem ‘Marching on together’ and with everyone singing it. So, I’m hoping we can replicate that again, especially with the massive undercard for this show; it’s going to be even bigger than last time.
“Obviously in Sheffield you’ve got Kell Brook and Kid Galahad but, from this part of Yorkshire, we’ve definitely got the cream of the crop on this show. It’s a chance for people to see the best from Leeds and Hull. Both Adil and Gary are at British level, and Tommy has cemented himself there after his last performance against Derry Matthews. It’s definitely a night to come along to, whether you’re a boxing fan or if you’ve never been before. This would normally be a big SKY TV show and you’ll definitely be entertained.”
With his eye on a future British title shot, and with the bill being broadcast live and free on VIPBOXING.TV, the exciting prospect is aware he can’t afford to take his opponent lightly, even though he already has a 2011 victory over the Slough man. With Bailey entering the contest on the back of a 10-round Southern Area title win, Josh knows he will face a fighter high on confidence, who will be determined to settle the score and disappoint the home fans.
“I boxed him before and it were only a four rounder but that last time I underestimated him a little bit, and I won’t be doing it this time,” stated the 22-year-old. “He turned out to be tougher than I expected. I still managed to get the win but I’ve heard about him turning up and causing upsets and he’s not one to be taken lightly. It’s a big scalp for him and a chance to get revenge after the last fight.
“[British champion] Lee Selby fights [Ryan] Walsh a week after us and there’s talk of him vacating if he wins, and if that does happen then there’ll be a title without a champion. So I’m hoping to get a shot at the British this season. This fight will be the second defence of my English title and I think it’s now time to step it up a level.”
“I think this could well be the best non-TV show in Yorkshire ever, and certainly for this coming boxing season,” stated VIP Promotions’ head, Steve Wood, who promotes the show jointly with Mark Bateson (father of amateur star, Jack, and trainer of Adil Anwar). “The undercard is fantastic and each of them could be topping the bill in their own right. The atmosphere will be incredible and it really is a show that should be on TV, so I’m pleased that if fans aren’t able to come along they will be able to watch it live on the internet. We’ve got high hopes for Josh, he’s a lovely boxer but this fight is a potential banana skin and he’s going to have to be fully focused if he is to go onto bigger things.”
‘Yorkshire’s Finest’ will take place at Elland Road on September 27 and will be headlined by Josh Warrington defending his English featherweight title against Ian Bailey. The undercard will feature Dewsbury’s former British super-featherweight champion, Gary Sykes; Leeds’ recent British light-welterweight title challenger, Adil Anwar; and Hull’s Tommy Coyle, who was involved in a terrific Commonwealth lightweight title challenge in July. Also appearing will be Leeds’ China Clarke; Bradford’s Nate Joseph, and York’s Harry Matthews.
Tickets, priced at £30 (General), £50 (Ringside), and £70 (VIP Ringside Table) are available from all boxers or at www.vipbe.co.uk.
The show will also be streamed live and free at www.vipboxing.tv
Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting www.vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and Facebook.