Josh Warrington says referee shouldn’t have stopped fight

By Boxing News - 10/08/2023 - Comments

By Jake Tiernan: Josh Warrington feels that the referee waved it off too quickly after he got up at the count of eight after being knocked down by WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood in the seventh round last Saturday night in their fight at the Sheffield Arena.

Warrington (31-3-1, 8 KOs) never got the chance to turn around before the referee, Michael Alexander, stopped the fight while facing the audience. It was very odd the way Alexander quickly stopped the fight while Warrington’s back was turned.

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Before that, Alexander had docked a point from Warrington in the seventh round for throwing a rabbit punch. Alexander should have addressed all the holding Wood was doing because he was using it as his #1 tool in his defense.

Josh feels that with so little time left in the seventh round, he would have survived if the contest had been allowed to continue, and then he would have recovered in between rounds and come out for the eighth round.

He would have then continued his domination like he’d been doing up until he was hurt in the seventh due to a momentary lapse of concentration.

Warrington was ahead by these scores:

  • 58-56
  • 59-55
  • 59-55

Josh Warrington: “It’s world championship boxing. It’s not a tickling competition,” said Warrington to the media when asked if the referee, Michael Alexander, should have stopped the contest after his knockdown in the seventh.

“I do think I should have been given the opportunity to carry on. Maybe I got up too quickly, but my senses were all with me. I got up, and I heard ‘eight.’ I know in the States, you can get up at nine, and they’ll let it go. I got up at eight and turned around, and he’s waving it off.”

Eddie Hearn: “If the referee did call it off at eight, it was too early because he should have given him the opportunity to turn around. He [referee Michael Alexander] said, ‘He wouldn’t turn around, and if he didn’t turn around, I can’t let him continue.’ ”

Hearn revealed that the viewing numbers on DAZN were excellent for the Wood vs. Warrington fight and a positive thing to consider when selecting Leigh’s next opponent at the City Ground.

The two choices that Wood has are Warrington and Joe Cordina. If Wood is going to move up to 130, he’s surely not going to take on WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete because that’s too much of a jump-up in class. Besides, it’s not a big money fight if you stage it in the UK, and it won’t sell if it takes place in the U.S. or Mexico.

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