Josh Warrington secures second-round knockout win against Sofiane Takoucht

Josh Warrington knocks Sofiane Takoucht to the floor. PIC: Steve Riding.
Josh Warrington knocks Sofiane Takoucht to the floor. PIC: Steve Riding.
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Josh Warrington promised a statement win over Sofiane Takoucht on Saturday night and the Leeds Warrior certainly delivered one.

The IBF Featherweight champion successfully defended his crown for a third time, with a stunning second-round knockout of the Frenchman.

Josh Warrington celebrates as the fight is waved off. PIC: Steve Riding.

Josh Warrington celebrates as the fight is waved off. PIC: Steve Riding.

Takoucht had never been stopped in his previous 39 fights but was swiftly sent to the mat by Warrington at a raucous Leeds Arena.

The Leeds Warrior was on the front foot from the first bell, with his speed and ferocity giving the visiting challenger little hope.

He utilised the same style which served him so well against Lee Selby and Carl Frampton last year.

Warrington forced two standing-eight counts in a matter of seconds midway through the second round.

He caught the Frenchman with two delightful shots as Takoucht looked visibly rattled before the defending champion went in for the kill.

The Leeds Warrior caught the challenger with another fierce right hand, sending him stumbling back.

The referee stepped in and waved the fight off, handing Warrington a technical knockout victory.

Warrington will now have WBC champion Gary Russell Junior firmly on his radar.

The Leeds Warrior had been keen for a unification bout in the United States following his win over Kid Galahad in June.

However, making that fight happen proved more difficult than anticipated, with fellow champions Leo Santa Cruz and Oscar Valdez both backing away unification bouts.

The pair both have plans to step up a weight class, meaning that Russell is the only featherweight champion left for Warrington to face.

The lack of unification bout meant Warrington had his 10th fight at the First Direct Leeds Arena against the IBF's number four contender.

Takoucht boasted 35 wins and one draw with only three losses during his pro career and, on paper, looked a formidable foe.

But Warrington's 30th-straight professional win ended Takoucht's eight-fight win streak, a run that began in January 2014.

The Leeds Warrior is keen to return to Elland Road next year, the stadium where he first won his IBF belt.

The 28-year-old became Leeds' first world champion in 2018 and now hopes to become the city's first unified world champion in 2020.