Josh Warrington and rival both lured by Lee Selby title fight

READY FOR BATTLE: Josh Warrington at Trinity Shopping Centre ahead of tonights fight at the Leeds Arena. Picture: Steve Riding
READY FOR BATTLE: Josh Warrington at Trinity Shopping Centre ahead of tonights fight at the Leeds Arena. Picture: Steve Riding
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JOSH Warrington has urged Lee Selby’s team to organise a Leeds world title fight with him this summer, insisting the Welshman might not have a belt to defend this time next year.

European, Commonwealth and WBC international featherweight champion Warrington will return from a seven-month absence against Hisashi Amagasa at the First Direct Arena tonight after having his progress stalled by a bout of flu over the New Year.

That meant pulling out of December’s planned fight against Jorge Sanchez – a bout that was an important part of the 25-year-old’s build-up to a potential world title fight against IBF featherweight champion Selby at Elland Road this summer.

While the Yorkshireman’s enforced absence had seemingly put the immediate prospect of that showdown on the back-burner, Warrington is advising Selby that he may have no real option but to grasp the chance.

Warrington explained: “I think he would like to give it a few more fights and then, if we could both make it up to Christmas unbeaten, then we could have like a good five months build-up to it and then fight next June. But is Lee Selby still going to be champion?

“After his last couple of performances, he’s not looked too great. His last two performances have been shocking. It’s a risk that his people have to decide but I’m sure that if me and Lee got given the contracts tomorrow then we would both fight tomorrow.

“To fight Lee Selby at Elland Road, it would need a lot of promotion and a lot of build- up so it would be a tight gap in between. But I’d fight him tomorrow. I’d fight him in my back garden if it could work like that.”

Warrington will have home advantage in Leeds against Amagasa tonight and is 5-1 on favourite to make it 23 wins out of 23 but he is warning that tonight’s opponent will be no pushover.

“Amagasa’s team originally wanted to fight Lee Selby and obviously you can’t just jump into a world title fight so I think Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing offered Amagasa the fight,” said Warrington.

“They said if you beat Josh Warrington then you might get a shot at a world title so there’s a lot in line for him as well.”