Leeds’S Josh Warrington’s march towards a world title shot gained momentum with a highly-impressive fourth-round stoppage win over Italian Davide Dieli in their European title clash at the First Direct Arena.
Warrington, spurred on by almost 2,000 of his fans, walked to the ring with a deafening rendition of the Leeds United chant Marching On Together which was followed by the words of Leeds band Kaiser Chiefs’ song I Predict A Riot and the boisterous atmosphere carried on throughout the fight.
Warrington set about his shell-shocked opponent from the off, showing the crowd and the Sky Sports viewers his full repertoire of boxing skills in what was a career-best display.
His constant pressure finally paid dividends in the fourth round when Dieli hit the canvas after a stinging combination.
Dieli bravely beat the referee’s count despite looking shaky, but the Leeds boxer was not to be denied.
Roared on by the crowd, Warrington’s relentless work-rate finally took its toll moments later when the referee stopped the fight with the Italian fighter seemingly moments away from being knocked out.
Twenty-three-year-old featherweight Warrington has had a fantastic 12 months which have seen him capture the British, Commonwealth and European titles in his last three fights. Promoter Eddie Hearn promised more exciting nights in Leeds in the near future.
“Wow, what an atmosphere. I’ve never experienced anything like that. Josh is going to be back in Leeds headlining shows for a long time to come,” said Hearn.
“Let’s remember that he’s only 23 and he’s Commonwealth, British and European champion. Let’s give him a little rest and we’ll get him back out in Leeds at the start of 2015.
“This lad has the potential to be the next Ricky Hatton and I can’t wait to enjoy the ride. I also promote Welshman Lee Selby who operates at the same weight. He has a world title eliminator against Australian Joel Brunker next week in London. If both Josh and Lee keep winning, we’ll be able to pack out Elland Road next year for a domestic world title fight.”
The victory was Warrington’s 19th straight win as a professional and also his third stoppage win out of his last four fights.