LEEDS boxing champion Josh Warrington has signed a long-term promotional deal with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren - just two weeks after parting ways with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing.
Warrington split with Matchroom earlier this month - nearly two and a half years after signing in August 2014 ahead of his European featherweight title fight against Davide Dieli at First Direct Arena in October.
Undefeated Commonwealth and British champion Warrington went on to bag the WBC international featherweight title, winning all six of his fights after signing for Matchroom, including five at First Direct Arena.
Talk has long been rife about a possible world title showdown with Wales' IBF champion Lee Selby - potentially at Elland Road - but Warrington split with Matchroom earlier this month following the expiry of the boxer's contract.
But now Warrington has signed a new deal with Warren and the 26-year-old has been quick to again stress his burning desire for a world title fight.
"My original dream was to win a British title at the First Direct Arena and now we’ve gone beyond that and won European and International titles,” said passionate Leeds United fan Warrington, who has built up an enormous following linking supporters of the Whites with his boxing exploits.
“All I want to do now is win a World title and I’ll do anything it takes to do that. I kill myself in the gym every time I fight and I’m determined to make my dream a reality.
“Every fight I have is a World title fight to me and the ultimate goal is to bring a World title back to Leeds and become the first World Champion from the city.
"The buzz around the city is crazy at the moment, they’re craving for a World Champion. I have little old ladies stop me in the street and ask me when I’m going to be fighting at Elland Road.
“Fighting for World title at the home of Leeds United would be a dream come true for me. I just need to keep on winning and keep on dreaming and hopefully that will be the end product of all of my hard work.”
Trained by Sean O’Hagan and managed by Steve Wood, Warrington is excited about what opportunities 2017 will bring and cannot wait to showcase his talents live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
"I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter of my career with Frank," said the Leeds ace.
"It’s an exciting time to be teaming up with him and the BT Sport deal is sure to signal the dawn of a new era for boxing in the country.
“I can’t wait to showcase my talent and hard work to an even bigger audience.
"It’s a bit of an honour to be part of it from the beginning and hopefully I can help drive Frank’s promotions along.
"I have a real hardcore support that keeps on growing and growing and there’s sure to be some big nights ahead.”
Promoter Warren, meanwhile, believes there is every chance that he can fulfil his dream of landing a World title in the New Year.
“I’m delighted Josh is joining our team,” said Warren.
“He’s the flag-bearer for boxing in Leeds and I’m looking forward to him headlining some huge shows there live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
“He has unrivalled support similar to the following Ricky Hatton built while he was with me and it’s only going to get bigger with him fighting on big shows regularly on BT Sport and BoxNation. I’m confident I can deliver him a World title shot.”