By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is excited about what he views as a “50-50” contest between WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood and former two-time 126-lb champion Josh Warrington this Saturday, October 7th on DAZN at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.
Wood (27-3,16 KOs) recently recaptured the WBA title from Mauricio Lara in an odd situation. The whole setup was disturbing. At any rate, Wood got his WBA title back, and he’ll be facing Warrington in their business-level fight. Hearn has already said that if Wood wins, he’ll likely vacate rather than face his mandatory Otabek Kholmatov (11-0, 10KOs).
The Wood-Warrington abomination will be shown live on DAZN at 2:00 p.m. ET & 7:00 p.m. PT in the UK. The main event fight will take place around 5:00 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. in the UK.
Warrington (31-2-1, 8 KOs) will be backing into the contest after losing his last fight against Luis Alberto Lopez last December in Leeds. There’s a professional wrestling aspect to the Wood-Warrington fight.
If Warrington wins, don’t be surprised if there’s an automatic rematch between the two. It’s utterly predictable and pathetic at the same time because the mandatory Kholomatov would bypassed a second time.
“It’s a natural mega-fight for this country. When you talk about performances, when you talk about resume, when you talk about ticket sales, when you talk about the support of the city, when you bring too big fan bases together, you create an incredible atmosphere and just an incredible fight,” said Eddie Hearn to the Matchroom Boxing channel on this Saturday’s contest between WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood and #7 Josh Warrington.
Hearn is lowering the bar for what he considers to be a “mega-fight by referring to the Wood vs. Warrington fight with that label because next to no one is talking about this fight.
Granted, a lot of that has to do with the things played in their last two fights, with Lara not being allowed to make weight to keep his WBA belt and Warrington losing his last fight. Wood vs. Warrington looks like a fight that was forced into existence rather than one that deserved to take place.
“This is two British two-time world champions head-to-head. Josh Warrington trying to become a three-time world champion,” Hearn said. “When you talk about 50-50, it’s impossible to go into this fight with any extreme confidence of the winner.
“When you break it down, it depends on which side you’re on,” said Hearn. “If you’re a Josh Warrington fan, you’re saying, ‘Is Leigh Wood actually that good? I remember when he got stopped by Gavin McDonnell, and he struggled at British level. Yeah, he beat [Michael] Conlan, but he was behind. He got dropped, and then he got knocked out by [Mauricio] Lara or stopped against Lara. I know he won the rematch, but Lara missed weight and wasn’t the same that night.’
“If you’re a Leigh Wood fan, you’re saying, ‘No, no, no. He knocked out Conlan; he schooled Lara in the rematch; he punches very, very hard; Josh Warrington is at the end of his career; Josh Warrington has pillow fists.’
“Then the Warrington fan comes back and says, ‘Leigh Wood has no chin.’ I just I just think it’s going to be an absolute thriller. I think Leigh Wood has extreme power; he has got extreme confidence. He has got Ben Davison, and the team just making him tick in every single way.
“Josh Warrington’s a tough son of, and Josh Warrington’s work rate is unbelievable. I think Josh Warrington’s chin is unbelievable as well, and I think Josh Warrington is going to try and walk through on Saturday night,” said Hearn.