By Scott Gilfoid: Undefeated #2 WBC, #7 IBF, #10 WBA featherweight contender Josh Warrington (23-0, 4 KOs) stayed unbeaten on Saturday night with a 12 round unanimous decision win over #14 WBC fringe contender Hisashi Amagasa (30-6-2, 20 KOs) at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England.
The final judges’ scores were 117-111, 118-111 and 120-107. I personally thought the scoring was an incredible joke. I had Warrington winning the fight by a 7 rounds to 5 score, but it was hardly a one-sided affair that the judges’ scores would have you believe. Warrington was hurt several times in the fight by the lanky 5’10” Amagasa, and he was very, very lucky that he was a mediocre fringe contender instead of a top contender that would take his head off.
Amagasa hurt Warrington with big uppercuts in rounds three and six. Warrington’s nose began to bleed in the 6th after Amagasa nailed him with a big right hand uppercut that caught up right underneath the nose. Warrington was back peddling big time after getting hit with that shot.
In the 10th round, Warrington staggered Amagasa with a left hook to the head. Amagasa had it coming because kept foolishly bending forward to the 5’6″ height of Warrington, as if he were begging to be smacked. It was very strange the way Amagasa did that all night long because he was never effective when bending forward like that and I had no idea why he was doing it. If I were his trainer in his corner, I would have shaken some sense into him to stand tall, use his height and reach, and let his hands go.
Warrington hurt Amagasa with a left to the body in the 11th round that put him on the retreat. Amagasa was cut in the same round by one of Warrington’s shots. With the way that Warrington’s tape had come loose in that round, I wouldn’t be surprised if Amagasa was cut from his tape because it was like a whip with the that the loose tape was hitting Amagasa when Warrington would throw a shot.
In the 12th round, Amagasa got his second wind and started nailing Warrington at will with big power shots. There was flurry of shots from Amagasa that had Warrington hurt and covering up. Moments later, Warrington came back with two textbook rabbit shots to the back of Amagasa’s head that Warrington got away with without the referee warning him for the illegal punches. The WBC’s new policy on rabbit punches is that they’re not to be allowed, but it looks like this fight escaped the WBC’s radar.
If this had been someone like unbeaten #3 WBC Oscar Valdez inside the ring tonight instead of the inept Amagasa, I think Warrington would have been knocked out by the 3rd round. I was not impressed at all from Warrington. He had a lot of fans cheering for him tonight in Leeds, but he did not look world class to me.
Warrington looked like a fringe contender and definitely not like someone ranked #2 by the World Boxing Council. I see that as a confusing ranking given how poor Warrington looked tonight and in his other fights. He doesn’t belong in the same ring with someone like Oscar Valdez. I can’t see Warrington’s promoter Eddie Hearn ever letting him fight Valdez, because that would be a sick mismatch.
With this victory, it’s likely that Warrington’s promoter Eddie Hearn will crow about the fact that Warrington defeated the same fighter gave undefeated super bantamweight talent Guillermo Rigondeaux all he could handle in their fight in December 2014. Amagasa knocked Rigondeaux twice in the 7th round of that fight after the Cuban fighter got careless. However, in the next round, Rigondeaux got serious with Amagasa and gave him a terrible beating from the 8th round until the fight was mercifully stopped in the 11th round by Amagasa’s corner. There was nothing in Warrington’s performance that was comparable to how Rigondeaux fought. We’re talking about a fighter that is several levels better than Warrington. At any rate, Hearn will likely stand on his hind legs and crow long and hard about how Warrington beat a guy that briefly gave Rigondeaux problems in one round of their fight two years ago. This is all so predictable.
The victory for Warrington will obviously lead to an in house fight against fellow Matchroom Sport promoter IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby. That’s the next fight for both guys. Warrington won’t do well against Selby, believe me. This is going to be very one-sided. That’s my prediction. Selby may not be the best of the featherweight champions, but he sure as heck is A LOT BETTER than the likes of Warrington. Don’t get me wrong; I think Warrington is a decent bottom 10 guy, but no way do I see him deserving a #2 ranking with the WBC.
If you’re familiar at all with Oscar Valdez, there is no way on earth that Warrington deserves to be ranked higher than him. Valdez is ranked #3 by the WBC, and that is just wrong. Valdez is world’s better than Warrington in my view. Valdez has major talent. I rate Warrington behind the following featherweight contenders in the division: Valdez, Ronny Rios, Eric Hunter, Jonathan Barros, Robinson Castellanos, Andres Gutierrez, Satoshi Hosono, Hairon Socarras, Joseph Diaz, Fernando Montiel, Simpiwe Vetyeka, Claudio Marrero, Kiko Martinez and Abner Mares. I left out another seven contenders because the list would be too long.
In other action on the card, #4 IBF Stuart Hall (20-4-2, 7 KOs) defeated #3 IBF Rodrigo Guerrero (24-6-1, 16 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in a IBF bantamweight title eliminator bout. The final judges’ scores were 117-111, 117-111 and 117-111. I agreed that Hall should have won the fight, but the scores should have been a lot closer because there was very little to separate the two fighters. Guerrero got the better of Hall through the first five rounds, but a cut over his right eye limited Guerrero’s effectiveness in the second half of the contest. I thought Hall just barely pulled it out. He did not look good, no. I think he’ll lose to IBF champion Lee Haskins.