promoter Eddie Hearn is considering “rolling the dice” and throwing Leeds featherweight Josh Warrington into an immediate world title showdown with IBF champion Lee Selby.
Warrington successfully defended his WBC international featherweight belt with Saturday night’s defeat of awkward Japanese challenger Hisashi Amagasa at First Direct Arena.
Warrington, also European and Commonwealth champion, is now unbeaten in 23 fights.
Both Warrington and his Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn seem tempted to take one more fight before the 25-year-old goes into battle with Welshman Selby for a fight that has long been envisaged as taking place at Elland Road.
Yet Hearn feels he may have difficulty finding Warrington another opponent as tough as Amagasa and has hinted Selby versus Warrington could be next. Any Elland Road bout would probably have to take place in June or July, outside the football season, and Hearn said: “It could be next. The problem is, when you fight a guy like Amagasa, what’s the next level?
“Stylistically, Amagasa is very, very difficult, maybe as difficult as Selby.
“So what time do you do it? For me, he is as prepared now as he could potentially ever be so if we roll the dice, next we roll the dice. I think one more, max, but it’s who are we going to fight.
“I just like the (Selby) fight. I think it’s a good fight and two Brits fighting for a world title, everybody loves to see it.
“Selby wants it, and Josh wants it, it’s just a case of , ‘do I have one more or do I jump into Selby?’
“ I think the fans want the Selby fight now so if it’s the right thing for Josh’s progression then that’s what we’ll do.”
Warrington blasted out of the blocks, but Amagasa then more than held his own. The Leeds man was again dominant in the latter stages and opened a nasty cut above Amagasa’s eye. Even so, there were some quizzical looks with the Leeds fighter awarded the contest 117-111, 118-111, 120-107. The latter score looked particularly baffling.
Warrington said: “There’s a little bit of learning that needs to be done, but I am always improving. I’m still only 25 and when that opportunity comes I’m ready for it. Lee Selby is the fight the Leeds people want, the fight I want and I just think I have got what it takes to beat him.”