Josh Warrington to fight Mauricio Lara at Emerald Headingley Stadium

Josh Warrington will fight in front of his beloved home crowd once again after winning one of his biggest bouts outside of the ring.

Josh Warrington lost for the first time against Mauricio Lara (Picture: Mark Robinson)
Josh Warrington lost for the first time against Mauricio Lara (Picture: Mark Robinson)

Former world champion Warrington had been wanting a rematch with Mauricio Lara, who became the first man to beat him back in February, at Emerald Headingley later this summer.

But Leeds Council rejected the remodelled sports ground as a venue because of the anticipated late finish and disturbance to local residents.

However, after writing an open letter to The Yorkshire Post in May, pleading with the council for a change of heart, that decision has now been overturned, meaning Warrington will fight Lara at Headingley on Saturday, September 4.

Josh Warrington is coming home to fight in Leeds (Picture: Steve Riding)

Warrington said yesterday: “It’s been an up and down period, time for reflection and to reassess myself. I’ve watched the first fight a dozen times, I’m mentally and physically prepared for Mauricio. It won’t be the same result, I want revenge.

“It’s going to be a huge event in Leeds, I can’t wait to get back in there and rewrite the script. It’s nothing personal, just business.

“September 4 we get back on track to the top.”

Warrington will share top billing with lightweight world champion Katie Taylor, who puts all her belts on the line against IBF mandatory challenger Jennifer Han.

Josh Warrington ahead of his fight against Mauricio Lara on 13th February. (Picture: Mark Robinson)

“I’m really excited to defend my titles in front of a live crowd again and especially in Leeds,” said Taylor. “I grew up as a Leeds United fan so it’s fantastic to see them back in the Premier League and doing so well again. My last few fights have effectively been behind closed doors and it’s definitely a strange experience so to have crowds back again and outdoors in Leeds will make for a very special atmosphere.”

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “A licence has been granted for local star Josh Warrington to fight again in his home city at the Emerald Headingley Stadium. It will give local people the opportunity to throw their fantastic support behind Josh and will be held in accordance with all relevant government guidance.”

Eddie Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Sport, said: “What better way to celebrate the return to normality for boxing than 20,000 passionate Leeds fans at Headingley Stadium. This is the biggest fight of Josh Warrington’s career and this time he has his city behind him in a must win fight that can only be a thriller.

“The greatest female fighter of all time Katie Taylor faces Mandatory Challenger Jennifer Han in another great fight. Katie is a lifelong Leeds United fan and I know how excited she is to fight in the city.

“Another Mexican upsetter Jovanni Straffon tries to derail the fairy tale story of Yorkshire’s Maxi Hughes who looks to take a giant leap in the World Lightweight landscape.

“There’s plenty more additions to be announced shortly in what will be a huge night of boxing live on DAZN.”