By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says the winner of the October 7th fight between WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington, live on DAZN, may vacate the belt and move up to 130 to challenge Joe Cordina for his IBF title.
Warrington is coming off a loss to Luis Alberto Lopez last December and not deserving of a world title shot, yet he’s getting one anyway. In other words, Warrington is backing into a title shot off a loss, which makes a mockery of the sport. That’s a WWE move.
Other sports are based on achievement, not business, and you don’t move to the championship game after a loss. In the case of Warrington, he’s failed and is still being put in a world title fight, which cheapens the whole thing.
British fans treated the announcement of the Wood-Warrington fight with lukewarm interest. This fight is already tainted, given Warrington’s loss and the circumstances surrounding Wood’s last fight against Mauricio Lara. On top of that, Wood is being permitted to swerve his WBA mandatory Otabek Kholmatov (11-0, 10 KOs).
This guy would be a 100% nightmare for the washed Wood and would likely destroy him & Warrington on the same night, making it look easy. Hence, he’s going to be avoided like the plague by the Wood-Waarrington winner.
There has been a lot of criticism from boxing fans for Wood (27-3, 16 KOs) not fighting Kholmatov next and instead fighting Warrington (31-2-1, 8 KOs) in a business-level fight on October 7th at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.
On why Wood isn’t fighting the Kholmatov:
“What happens is you ask for a special exemption with the WBA. Leigh Wood had just won the WBA title, so it was his first defense,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social. “They put the exemption to the other team, and they have the chance to comment. They didn’t comment.
“So it was decided. I think it would have been granted anyway [by the WBA], but obviously, that helped, and the WBA said, ‘Yes, we want to make big fights, but the winner must fight Kholmatov with no exception,’ so we’ll see what happens. For now, we’re focused on October 7th.
“If the winner of this fight doesn’t fight Kholmatov, then the WBA title will become vacant, and then it will be Raymond Ford against Kholmatov for the world WBA title. That’s another one of our fighters [Ford]. That’s a tremendous fight, by the way. Two great young fighters.
“I think the winner of this fight [Wood vs. Warrington] will move up and fight Joe Cordina [for his IBF super featherweight title]. That’ll be another big fight. It’ll be a chance for the winner to become a two-weight world champion.,” said Hearn.
As Hearn states that the vacated WBA featherweight title would then be fought over by Kholmatov and the Matchroom-promoted Raymond Ford (14-0-1, 7 KOs), who Eddie is confident will beat the Uzbekistan fighter with no problems whatsoever.
Ford came close to losing last year against Edward Vazquez, and in 2021, he was held to an eight round draw by Aaron Perez.
Obviously, Hearn has his blinders and sees only what he wants to because Ford is not the best thing since sliced bread, and he’ll likely lose to Kholmatov without the judges getting a chance to score it.
Obviously, the same confidence isn’t there that Wood or Warrington can beat Kholmatov because the tentative plans are to vacate the WBA title to swerve him.
As I previously mentioned, Kholmatov was supposed to be next in line to challenge Wood for his WBA belt after he captured it in his last fight against Mauricio Lara last May.
Lara was stripped of his WBA before the fight after BBBofC deemed that he was too heavy during the weight check. Fans on social media criticized that move, saying Lara had been robbed of his WBA title before the fight.
With his title stripped, Lara appeared unmotivated and disengaged throughout the fight, not looking interested.
Warrington – Wood Quotes:
“Staying relaxed and focused. I’ve prepared well. I understand the importance of the night ahead. All these pre-event rituals, they’re a show for me. As the days pass, I get more eager. The press conference tomorrow might be a bit tedious, but I’ve grown used to it as my career progresses. The excitement for the fight night is real.
“Josh and I have maintained respect throughout the training period. However, lately, I’ve noticed him becoming slightly more confrontational and using stronger language. Maybe he believes it adds to his image. He’s possibly shifting his demeanor, perhaps aiming to unsettle me. But, I stay grounded and focused on my plan.
“I’ve been in important fights multiple times. He’ll stick to his style, and so will I. I’ve always felt I had the potential but needed some direction. Reaching a great level mostly on my own was significant, but joining forces with Ben has truly enhanced my performance. Now, I minimize errors and take advantage of my adversaries’ slip-ups, elevating my game.”
“The moment is approaching. You just feel that urge to step in and fight. We have all these media activities and promotional events, all building up to Saturday. While they might seem redundant, they do make the week go by faster. Honestly, I’d prefer being home, relaxing and watching TV. But this is part of the journey.
“I’ve maintained a consistent mindset throughout my career: every fight is a make-or-break moment. From my debut in 2009, I’ve always wanted to start strong. Each fight feels like the most important one, given where I am in my journey. When I reflect upon retirement, maybe I’ll have a definitive answer about my most significant fight.
“Becoming a World Champion once was surreal, and three times? That’s genuinely impressive. It’s a feeling of immense pride, but I know there’s more to achieve. My optimism about enhancing my legacy remains unshaken. While I always aim for a win, for this upcoming fight, I anticipate it won’t last all 12 rounds.”
Fight Details – What Time Is Wood vs Warrington?
- Date: Saturday, October 7th
- Time: Starts 7 p.m. UK / 2 p.m. ET
- Main Event: Approximately 10 p.m. UK / 5 p.m. ET (Note: this might vary depending on how the undercard fights unfold)
Where Can I Stream It? Yes, you guessed it right! DAZN is the place to be, offering a live stream for those in over 200 countries. So, if you haven’t got your subscription yet, it might be a good time to hop on.
Venue Scoop: The punches will be flying at Utilita Arena, Sheffield, England. A great venue for boxing!
- Nationality: British
- Birthday: August 1, 1988
- Physical Stats: 5′ 7″, 67″ reach
- Career: 30 total fights; Record of 27-3-0 with 16 KOs under his belt
- Nationality: British
- Birthday: November 14, 1990
- Physical Stats: 5′ 7″, 67″ reach
- Career: 34 total bouts; Impressive record of 31-2-1 and 8 KOs
The Night’s Fight Card:
- Main Attraction: Leigh Wood vs. Josh Warrington (Fighting for Wood’s WBA world featherweight title)
- Co-main: Terri Harper vs. Cecilia Braekhus (For the WBA and WBO women’s light middleweight titles)
- Featherweight Showdown: Hopey Price vs. Connor Coghill
- Middleweight Clash: Kieron Conway vs. Linus Udofia
- Super-welterweight Action: Junaid Bostan vs. Corey McCulloch
- Super-featherweight Bout: Cameron Vuong vs. Engel Gomez
- Bantamweight Tussle: Koby McNamara vs. Francisco Rodriguez