By Craig Page: Josh Warrington (31-1-1, 8 KOs) weighed in at 125 1/4 pounds for the first defense of his IBF featherweight title on Friday for his fight against Luis Alberto Lopez on Saturday night at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England. Lopez (26-2, 15 KOs) came in at 124 1/4 lbs for their main event fight, live on DAZN.
On the undercard, unbeaten super middleweight contender Felix Cash (15-0, 10 KOs) takes on Carlos Neves (9-2-2, 2 KOs) in an eight round bout.
Felix Cash 166 vs. Celso Neves 166
Ebanie Bridges 117¾ vs. Shannon O’Connell 117¼
Shannon Courtenay 124 1/2 vs. Gemma Ruegg 124 1/2
“He’s got one of the toughest mandatory challengers that you can find in the division. Not many people know anything about Lopez outside of boxing,” said Eddie Hearn to the Lightweight Boxing Show about Josh Warrington’s fight against Luis Alberto Lopez this Saturday night.
“The man on the street says, ‘Luis Alberto Lopez, this will be easy work for Josh,’ but not realizing that arguably this will be the toughest fight of his career,” Hearn continued about what Warrington is up against.
“When you see the confidence of Lopez, he’s part of the Top Rank team. This is a really, really tough fight for Josh Warrington for so many different reasons.
“The carrot that has been dangled of ‘just win this one, then we’re doing the unification, or we’re going to the States.’ These boys are for real.
“I like the all-British unification,” said Hearn about his preference for Warrington to face WBA secondary 126-lb champion Leigh Wood next rather than going over to the U.S. to face the more established WBA full champion Leo Santa Cruz.
“Whenever there’s a British unification, we should try to make it. Josh has been wanting to go to America for a long time. Before the Mauricio Lara fight, I said, ‘Just get through this one, and we’ll do the American fight, and then obviously, that happened.
“Leigh Wood hasn’t experienced the Ellen Road or the Headingly yet. He wants the City Ground or come to Ellen Road. Josh Warrington, in his heart, would like to go to MSG or Vegas. But for Me, Leigh Wood against Josh Warrington does 30,000 at Ellen Road or the City Ground.
“It’s a tremendous fight style-wise and everything. It’s two Brits. For me, that will always take preference,” said Hearn.