Warrington now set for crack at the world title

leeds boxer Josh Warrington has earned himself a shot at the world title after defeating Irishman Patrick Hyland at a vociferous First Direct Arena, says promotor Eddie Hearn.

Josh Warrington (left) and Patrick Hyland during their WBC International Featherweight Championship bout.

A potential British clash with long-term rival and world champion Lee Selby has long been on the cards, and with Warrington adding to his growing reputation, that fight appears a shoo-in for November.

In an undercard that featured several Yorkshire-based fighters, Warrington demonstrated his ability to compete at the elite level of featherweight boxing in a ruthless display, as referee Ian John-Lewis called a halt to the 26 year-old’s sixth headline event in the city.

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Having dominated the early exchanges, in which Sky judges Jonny Nelson and Glenn McCrory each had Warrington ahead on their respective scorecards, the passionate Leeds United and Rhinos fan raised the roof in the latter part of round eight and again in round nine, as he knocked Hyland to the canvas.

Hyland, 32, had missed the 122lbs weight limit the previous day despite being given extra time to prove himself, and, as a result, Warrington’s WBC International title was not on the line, though due to boxing regulations the Leeds lad still had to defend his belt.

Knowing that a world title shot would be the likely outcome of an emphatic win, Warrington, who is a dentist practitioner, will face either Selby or Carl Frampton later in the year, the latter becoming a two-weight world champion after claiming the WBA featherweight title hours later in New York.

Earlier in the evening in Leeds, Hull’s Luke Campbell came through a tricky tie against former world champion Argenis Mendez, of the Dominican Republic, outscoring his opponent on the way to a comprehensive unanimous points decision.

Having been knocked down early in the second round, the Olympic gold medallist responded well, controlling the rest of the bout as he added the vacant WBC silver lightweight title to his Commonwealth belt.

His opponent came with a respectable record, having lost just four of his previous 29 encounters, and though he was well on top in the opening rounds, he barely threw a punch after the hungrier Campbell recovered from being floored.

Competing for the vacant WBC international title, Doncaster’s Dave Allen provided a stern test for arch-rival Dillian Whyte.

Heading into the fight as the underdog, the ‘White Rhino’ kept a high guard and despite being hit hard by the Londoner on a few occasions, was able to go the distance as he lasted the full 10 rounds.

While Whyte may have won by a unanimous points decision, Allen received the full backing of the crowd as the previously undefeated boxer impressed.

Huddersfield’s Tyrone Nurse retained his British super lightweight title against Tommy Coyle from Hull. Heading into the ring with just five defeats between them in a combined 61 fights, it was difficult to call a favourite.

Coyle came out of the blocks the quickest, throwing fierce body shots against his taller opponent. With both delivering cruel blows to their opponents’ eyes, the fight became a real slog it was Nurse who won via a narrow unanimous decision denying Coyle the chance to become Hull’s first British champion.

Barnsley’s Josh Wale took Birmingham’s Gamal Yafai the distance for the first time in his career but was unable to prevent his opponent retaining his Commonwealth super-bantamweight title.