Josh Warrington wants rematch with Leigh Wood at City Ground

By Boxing News - 10/07/2023 - Comments

By Jake Tiernan: Josh Warrington (31-3-1,8 KOs) wants a rematch with WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood (28-3, 17 KOs) after suffering what he felt was a premature seventh round stoppage on Saturday night in Sheffield.

There were only ten seconds left in the round, and Warrington believes he would have been able to get through the remainder of the round if the referee had given him a chance,  but he did not allow him that opportunity.

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Warrington feels that referee Michael Alexander pulled the plug on the fight too quickly after he was knocked down by Wood in round seven. The referee didn’t allow Warrington, who was ahead in the fight, to have a chance to try and make it out of the round.

At the time of the stoppage, Warrington was ahead by the scores:

  • 58-56
  • 59-55
  • 59-55

It was interesting that Alexander didn’t give Warrington the chance to make it out of the round, as he likely would have done so. Who knows whether Warrington would have recovered in between rounds. If so, he would have cruised to victory because Wood was bleeding from his right, and getting dominated by Warrington.

If Wood doesn’t give Warrington a rematch, he’s expected to go up to 130 to challenge Joe Cordina for his IBF strap.  That’s a way for Wood to cash out with a nice payday before retiring.

Perhaps a better idea would be for Wood to run it back with Warrington at the City Ground, and if Leigh is victorious, move up to super featherweight to challenge Cordina for his belt. That would be another payday for Wood before he hangs up his gloves. A second fight between Warrington & Wood would be massive at the City Grounds, particularly if they promote it well.

Josh Warrington: “I switched off for a second. The time that I’ve been out of the ring, ten months and straight into a big one,” said Warrington to Matchroom Boxing following his loss tonight to Leigh Wood.

“He caught me with a good shot, but I felt good. I was listening to the count, ‘Six, seven, eight,’ and I turned around, and he [referee Michael Alexander] was waving his arms. I heard the clock, and there was ten seconds to go.

“I’m disappointed and feel let down. It’s two losses on a bounce. It’sa stoppage. It is what it is.  I’d like to run it back again. I felt like I was cruising it and cruising it. Don’t get me wrong. I felt rusty at times because I’ve been out of the ring.”

Leigh Wood: “Maybe we can run it back. It was a great fight. Maybe we can do it again.”

Eddie Hearn: “It was quite incredible. Firstly, boxing is the most brilliant and the toughest sport. Leeds fans and Nottingham fans has given us the best atmospheres over the last couple of years. They’ve come together to witness a thrill of a fight back and forward.

Leigh Wood dominated the first two rounds. I thought Josh Warrington was sensational. I had him well ahead in the fight. I actually said to Tony Bellew before the stoppage, ‘I think Leigh Woods done. The weight’s hurting him,’ and it was just a thrilling knockout.

“Josh was badly hurt, he didn’t turn around, and I’ll tell you. This man here is unbelievable. What he’s done in the featherweight division. It
just shows you if you stick at it, anything could happen. For years, he’s plagued me about a fight at a City Ground, and it’s like they like the sound of that.

“It’s on the club as well. I know they want to do it next summer at the City Ground. Leigh Wood must get his chance. I think we know that that’s his [Wood]last fight at featherweight. Whether it’s moving up to try and become a two-division champion against Joe Cordina, whether it’s Warrington again. Whoever it is, he deserves that chance.

“If you look at his fights. Can Xu, Lara, Conlan, and Warrington, it’s an incredible run, and massive respect to Josh Warrington. He’s been an absolute legend of the sport. His fans have been incredible.

“Leigh Wood’s fans have been incredible tonight. British boxing wins big time. That was a thriller and just another unbelievable part of the journey for Leigh Wood.”

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