After pulling off a stunning win on a heady night in May at Elland Road and capturing the IBF world featherweight title by defeating Lee Selby, many a voice in boxing would have been counselling Josh Warrington towards a routine voluntary defence in his home city for his next fight. The man himself wants to be recognised as a genuine champion and is therefore preparing to jump out of the frying pan and into the Frampton fire in his first defence of his belt at the Manchester Arena on December 22. In his latest Fighter Diary, Josh explains why attempting to do it easy was never really an option for him…
FIGHTER DIARY BY JOSH WARRINGTON
WHEN PEOPLE TALKED about me having a steady voluntary after such a big night and tough fight against Lee Selby last time out, the thing is there are no really easy fights at world level because everybody wants to be in your position, even if you are fighting the 15 in the IBF rankings or whatever.
There isn’t going to be easy fights because everybody wants what you’ve got.
Frank (Warren) was pretty persistent when it came to getting the Frampton fight on this year and squeezing a fight in inbetween would have meant we would have fought in late August or maybe September.
It is not the fights that take so much out of you though, it is the camps and I would have only had a week or so off after the Selby fight, which was a five month build up because, don’t forget, I had to stop camp half way through when my kids were born.
Camps are not just about fitness, it is about preparing for gameplans and certain styles and that is without the knocks, bumps, bruises and strains you would carry from having an interim fight.
You’ve got to go into these fights at 100 per cent, not having burned yourself out. That is something I didn’t want to do. I thought we had worked hard to be in the position we are now and, with the little bit of leeway I had, with a pick out of the two, I would rather have the Carl fight.
Carl would also want to keep himself busy and there is always the risk that if one of us was to lose then the fight falls through.
Sometimes these things can string themselves out too long and fights don’t happen when they should do. We’ve seen it many a time and we are still seeing it now with people like Kell Brook and Amir Khan, where a fight should’ve happened by now and maybe it has lost a bit of gloss.
People want to see the big fights and, as boxers, you want to defend against the best. If you consider yourself a real champion then you fight the best names.
It is funny now when I am looking down the UK rankings and I am still rated at No.2 with Carl at No.1. I’d like to finish this year being at No.1 and I will do that by beating Carl at the Manchester Arena.
He is back after a couple of good wins and I am getting in after the win over Selby. I believe in momentum and it is good when it is on your side.
I am hungry for this one.