THE FRANK WARREN COLUMN
By Frank Warren
JOSH WARRINGTON SHOWED everybody on Saturday night why he is simply the best in the featherweight business.
There were a lot of references made in the build-up to the fight about the potential of Josh transporting his talents Stateside, but then he demonstrated just why we should do all we can to keep our leading lights fighting at prime time on this side of the Atlantic.
His opponent, Sofiane Takoucht, had never before been dropped or stopped and now he is familiar with both experiences and looked shell-shocked when he was mercifully saved by referee Bob Williams.
Josh’s Dad, Sean, again showed that he is one of the best in the game and got his son’s preparations and tactics spot on. He is a superb operator – also a great fella – and the future of boxing in Leeds is in safe hands with him at the wheel.
Josh blitzed Takoucht in a similar fashion to the way he set about Carl Frampton in December and I remember Carl saying to me afterwards that he was led to believe that Josh didn’t carry any clout in his punches. Carl admitted that he was, as he put it, ‘buzzed’ a couple of times and said that Josh punches a lot harder that Leo Santa Cruz.
For me, Josh is the top man at the weight, I don’t care what anybody says. We now just have to wait and see how it all unfolds with the featherweight titles following the departures of Santa Cruz and Oscar Valdez.
Another class act on the night was Zelfa Barrett, who is really looking the part, but I must also tip my hat to his opponent Jordan McCorry. You don’t often come across a character in boxing who gives so much in fights from the away corner. He earns his money the hard way and I look at someone like Jordan and imagine what we could have done with him if we had him from the beginning.
I am in no way denigrating the work of his management but it does make a difference when you have a promotional operation behind you.
Lyndon Arthur found that titles don’t come easy when he was stretched to the limit by the tough Ghanaian Emmanuel Anim for the Commonwealth light heavyweight title. I thought he looked a little bit apprehensive, but he will take a lot from the experience and will probably have learned more than in his previous 15 fights.
I thought our new kids on the block gave a very good account of themselves in what was a big opportunity for them to showcase their talents on BT Sport.
Shabaz Masoud, when he settles down a little more, will start to find a bit more power. What he has got already is tremendous boxing skills that people will enjoy watching and the way he shifts his feet is something else. He is another one who reminds you of watching Naz with his lightening quick reflexes.
Young George Davey also caught the eye and did what he had to do against a decent opponent who pushed him. I was very pleased for him and he is a nice kid with a personality the public will warm to.
Also, both Shabaz and George really put the effort in and sold a lot of tickets to make it a good atmosphere during their fights.
It was a night that mostly focused on the lighter weights, but one heavyweight did make himself known to me to inform that he fancies a crack at Daniel Dubois.
I am, of course, talking about the popular Doncaster man David Allen, who we were happy to make an offer to and we will now wait to see what he says.
We would be more than happy to make the fight and I am sure it is one that would go down well with the fans.
I SEE OLD Dellboy Chisora piped up last week with a few premature rumours of my demise, but I think I can confidently predict that his retirement from boxing will come long before mine.
Dereck is a bit of an old relic of the division on about his tenth rebuilding job by now while, funnily enough, the present and future of the heavyweight operate under my guidance and promotion.
Tyson Fury, the No.1 heavyweight in the world who twice comprehensively schooled old Dell and future world champions, Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce – who he flat out refuses to consider fighting – are the ones who will be dominating the division for a long time yet with me right behind them making the big fights that matter.
So this old dinosaur has evolved is feeling quite sprightly and might even switch on the box in a couple of weeks’ time to watch the real Jurassic Park when Dereck steps in with David Price in what is a proper retirement fight.