Josh Warrington and Can Xu agree to terms for unification fight in Leeds
By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Josh Warrington and Can Xu have agreed for a featherweight unification fight at a still to be determined date in the summer at Headingley Stadium, Leeds. IBF 126-lb champion Warrington (30-0, 7 KOs) will have his IBF belt and the Ring Magazine belt.
WBA ‘regular’ featherweight champion Xu (18-2, 3 KOs) could be upgraded by the World Boxing Association to ‘Super World’ 126-lb champ, which means the current ‘Super World’ champion Leo Santa Cruz will be stripped.
This isn’t a surprise though because Santa Cruz recently moved up to super featherweight and captured the WBA Super World 130-lb title in beating Miguel Flores last November.
Coronavirus could delay Warrington vs. Xu fight
Unfortunately, the Warrington vs. Xu unification fight could wind up a victim of the dreaded coronavirus, which has detailed the sport of boxing through April. It would be great if the Warrington-Xu fight can take place in July, August or September, but right now it’s not looking good.
Xu never stops throwing shots, and his ability to throw multiple hooks with blinding hand speed makes him a nightmare for guys at 126. Xu looked awesome recently in beating these fighters:
Warrington vs. Xu to have multiple belts at stake
Hearn: “We have agreed to terms with Can Xu to have that big fight for you in the summer hopefully,” said Hearn on Live on Instagram. “WBA Super title on the line hopefully, and the IBF and Ring Magazine belt. Talk to us about that fight. For people that don’t know Can Xu, there are two people pound-for-pound in boxing that throw more punches than you do. It’s going to be an absolute war,” said Hearn.
Warrington: “It’ll be a barnstormer. When you look at all the other fighters,” said Warrington. “You know with Can Xu, as soon as the bell rings, he runs out to the center of the ring and he’s throwing punches. I like to do that as well. We want to be part of memorable fights. That’s all I want to be a part of. If you can imagine how massive stadium fight with a mad atmosphere,” said Warrington.
Can Xu could be too big of a step up for Warrington, as the Chinese fighter is capable of throwing massive amounts of punches?
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Hearn: “That’s just going to be electric,” said Hearn on the Warrington vs. Xu fight. “I want to talk about Gary Russell. We’ve had multiple conversations. Literally, the three fights were discussing were Shakur Stevenson, Can Xu, and Gary Russell as well.
“One fight you really fancied and you would have fought all of them, but you really fancied that Gary Russell fight, didn’t you? For me, that might be the most dangerous of those fights, but you fancy you’ve got the beating of him,” said Hearn.
Gary Russell Jr. fight appeals to Josh
Warrington: “Sometimes fighters get a feeling and you’ve just got a good feeling,” said Warrington when asked about his desire to face Russell Jr. “Just like the Lee Selby fight, I saw a lot of things that I thought I could expose. I see them with Gary Russell Jr.
“He’s a great fighter with a lot of speed, but he’s there for the taking. He’s got the green and gold melt. I’d love that fight. It would be a massive scalp, but the Can Xu fight would be an excellent one as well,” said Warrington.
Hearn: “In terms of staying at 126 lbs, I said to you ‘there is a chance to move up and maybe fight Tevin Farmer or Jo Jo Diaz to try and become a two-weight world champion,’ but you’re more than happy at 9 stone [126 lbs] right now?” asked Hearn to Warrington.
Warrington: “Yeah, I make the weight comfortably, I’m absolutely solid.
Hearn: “Ripped to shreds. What are you weighing now?”
WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. might be a little too fast and too experienced for Warrington. That guy is a big step up for the fighters that Warrington has been facing, and he might not be ready for it. Unlike Lee Selby and Carl Frampton, Russell Jr. wouldn’t be weight drained in facing Warrington.
Josh Warrington not interested in moving up to 130
Warrington: “About 140 lbs. I’m eating healthy but I’m staying a little bit more than I usually do. I plan on getting down to 10 stone in a week or so. I plan on cleaning a little bit more and step up a few things. Yeah, making weight is no problem. If we do step up, I’d build up and be even stronger,” said Warrington.
Hearn: “The one question people are asking me is they want to watch fights at home right now because they can’t watch any fights live on Sky. One fight for the people or public watching outside of you and Carl Frampton, which was a pretty good fight.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t there at the time but I am now so don’t worry about it. Give up a fight that is one of your favorite fights of all time that they can turn in to Youtube today,” said Hearn to Josh.
Warrington: “Erik Morales-Marco Antonio Barrera, I loved all three of their fights. There was a trilogy. If you liked the first one, then watch all three of them. The guys didn’t like each other and they threw the kitchen sink at each other. The first fight was back and forth and back and forth.
“They were hitting each other with absolute bombs that would finish most people off. They would just bounce back and get them him again. The intensity of the tempo was just unbelievable,” said Warrington.
It’s understandable why Warrington isn’t eager to move up to super-featherweight because he’d be dealing with a lot of talented guys. Although Warrington has loads of ability, the 130-lb champions Miguel Berchelt, Santa Cruz, Oscar Valdez, and Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz might be too much for him.
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