Warrington on Stevenson Fight
For the moment, IBF world featherweight champion Josh “The Leeds Warrior” Warrington (30-0, 7 KO’s) is being forced to play the waiting game. Prior to the upheaval initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Warrington was planning on trading leather with regular WBA world featherweight champion “Monster” Can Xu (18-2, 3 KO’s).
Regrettably, this bout was cast into doubt due to the extremely sketchy nature of international travel. Warrington, as told to SecondsOut, remains hopeful that something can be arranged to keep the match alive, but has prepared himself for the realization it will likely be postponed to another time.
“Yeah, I don’t know that much at this moment in time. What I did know before it all kicked off, these things start to open up and they take a very long time and process to happen. You’re dealing with managers and promoters and TV networks across the pond.”
“Everybody’s got to be happy with costs and where it’s going to be blah, blah, blah…until we can get to the stage where officials can travel over from here, there, everywhere I think we need some kind normality. But other than that I don’t know.”
Long before the bout with Can Xu was in the works, WBO world featherweight champion “Fearless” Shakur Stevenson (14-0, 8 KO’s) has pursued a showdown with the Leeds Warrior. Even after securing the WBO title, which he did not possess when initially calling out Warrington, Fearless has received no satisfaction.
Warrington has pretty consistently said that he feels Stevenson is talented, but also that the young gun is still not ready for the big time. For the IBF champion, there was even evidence of this in Stevenson’s very last at bat.
“Going by that fight, you take it with a pinch of salt. Yeah he looked good beating him up, but then you look at the highlights and you look at some of the things his opponent was doing, I mean bloody hell! He just stood in front of him, pitty-pat body shots and he’s asking for counters, he’s asking for uppercuts, he’s asking for all sorts. And I am thinking, ‘bloody hell, if that were me in there, the fight would have finished a lot sooner than it did. But it made him look good.”
ARE YOU STILL DOWN?
Despite thinking that Shakur Stevenson’s last foe was merely chum for a hungry shark, Warrington insists that he will still game for a rumble with Fearless. Going a step further, the Leeds Warrior feels that his team already did all they could to make the fight happen.
“At the time Shakur was aiming to be out around March time, so they were saying, ‘we want to fight at the end of July’ and that was back in February. We were like, ‘we’re not waiting until the end of July, we’re looking to go out at the end of April, early May you know, maybe, at the latest mid-May’. And they were like, ‘you will have to wait until July or we’re not going to fight, we’re going to move up’ and that’s where he was at in February.”
“And our response: leave your fight in March, you don’t need that fight in March. This is a unification fight, you’re going to get the biggest purse that he’s ever had, he’s going to get to fight in front of a massive audience instead of just like a phone box, and then they still don’t feel happy about that…but listen, if he wants it, he can have it! I am very much open to that fight.”
CAN WE LOCK HORNS NOW?
It will be interesting to see what route each man takes in their next fight. Even though he has not vacated his title, Stevenson successfully moved up and competed at the super featherweight division. More than merely compete there, Fearless let it be known he was very comfortable at the weight and was looking for all the 130lbs action he could find.
Nevertheless, the one fight that Stevenson said he would definitely hang around featherweight was with Warrington. So, once again, now that both men are free of obligation, can this meaningful unification bout finally come to fruition?
By: Bakari Simpson