August ‘too early’ for new world champion Josh Warrington to face Carl Frampton in Belfast

Josh Warrington holds aloft the belt after beating Lee Selby at Elland Road to win the IBF world title (Picture: Steve Riding).
Josh Warrington holds aloft the belt after beating Lee Selby at Elland Road to win the IBF world title (Picture: Steve Riding).
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Carl Frampton’s trainer insisted last night that the Belfast featherweight would be willing to come to Elland Road for an IBF title fight with Josh Warrington, but said the “bigger draw” of Frampton was likely to see any bout take place in Northern Ireland.

Jamie Moore, the former British champion who trains Frampton in Manchester, said the Irishman had no concerns about taking on Warrington in front of a big Leeds crowd after watching him produce a stunning win over Lee Selby on Saturday.

Warrington became Leeds’s first world boxing champion with a convincing points win over the experienced Selby, claiming the Welshman’s IBF belt and setting himself up for lucrative meetings with the likes of Frampton.

Almost 20,000 turned out at Elland Road on an emotional night that saw Warrington take victory via a split decision.

Frampton, who was ringside for the contest, is without a world title after losing the WBA’s nine-stone belt to Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz last year, but he has a substantial following in Northern Ireland and is due to fight at Belfast’s Windsor Park against an as yet unconfirmed opponent on August 18.

Moore said the August date would come too soon for a Warrington-Frampton showdown, echoing comments made by Warrington and promoter Frank Warren after Saturday’s bout at Elland Road, but claimed Frampton would be open to a future clash in Warrington’s home city.

“I wouldn’t worry about taking Carl anywhere,” Moore said. “He’s fought in Vegas and New York. We saw what Elland Road was like and he’d thrive on that.

“As it stands Carl’s the bigger draw worldwide and he’s in the driving seat. Right now I feel the fight would be in Belfast. But if Josh gets a couple of defences in and keeps growing his fanbase, in six to 12 months’ time who knows? It would have to be negotiated.

“I know I’m his trainer, but Carl would be a very hard fight for Josh. Carl’s experienced, he’s well travelled, he’s got real class and I think he’s getting better.

“He’s at a different level. We’d be very confident. I’d back Carl against any featherweight in the world.”

Warrington upset big odds by ending Selby’s IBF reign and Moore admitted that he had expected Selby, on his fifth defence, to retain his belt.

“I’ll be honest, I didn’t think he [Warrington] would win,” Moore said. “I thought he’d give a good performance, but I didn’t expect that against a fighter like Selby.

“The whole occasion reminded me of Ricky Hatton against Kostya Tszyu. It was that sort of moment. Josh’s performance has made it a more difficult fight for us than we anticipated. Having seen him fight like that we might have to come up with a few different ideas.”

Warrington planned to speak with Warren and manager Steve Wood this week about his next move.

The 27-year-old is expected to make a defence of his IBF title in Leeds later this year before considering a meeting with Frampton.

Moore, whose own 37-fight career ended in 2010, was in the corner of Lancashire boxer Jack Catterall during Saturday’s show and both he and Frampton provided radio punditry for BBC Five Live throughout the main event.

Moore said: “You could argue that you strike while the iron’s hot but I spoke to Josh on the radio after he beat Selby and I said to him ‘Carl Frampton in 12 weeks’ time isn’t the fight you need’.

I spoke to Josh after he beat Selby and I said to him, ‘Carl Frampton in 12 weeks’ time isn’t the fight you need’.

“He’s been through 12 tough rounds, he’s achieved a lifetime’s ambition and he needs to go away and enjoy it.”