Josh Warrington takes step into ‘unknown’ with next fighter

Josh Warrington during the public workout at Leeds Corn Exchange.
Josh Warrington during the public workout at Leeds Corn Exchange.
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World champion Josh Warrington wants to knockout his IBF featherweight title challenger Sofiane Takoucht on October 12.

The Leeds Warrior has gone the distance in his last three fights as he won his world title against Lee Selby and followed that up with two successful defences against Carl Frampton and Kid Galahad.

His opponent for the bout at the Leeds First Direct Arena has never been stopped and the Frenchman has won 35 of his 39 professional fights, losing three and drawing the other.

And although Warrington is targeting a knockout win, he insists that Takoucht is a “dangerous” foe.

“This guy is unknown and he is not expected to be there for the full duration,” said Warrington.

“People expect me to win easy and that is when you can overlook it. If you are not on the ball, then it can be dangerous.

“I have been an underdog myself and I know how it gives you the motivation to upset the apple cart.”

Victory will extend Warrington’s pro record to 30-0 and move him a step closer to fighting for another featherweight title.

“I am staying focused. I have got a goal of my own to unify the division,” he continued.

“And I have got to turn up and stay fixed on keeping the dream alive and getting another one of those belts.”

Warrington took to the stage at the Corn Exchange, Leeds yesterday for a public workout ahead of his third title defence.

And the Leeds boxer feels he is in much better shape and much better prepared, compared to his fight against Galahad, when he won by a split decision in June.

He said: “Honestly, I feel superb. Everything has been more scheduled and a bit more meticulous. We have left no stone unturned this time around. The big man [Warrington’s trainer, Sean O’Hagan] has been on it.

“I am not saying he overlooked Galahad, I think we just dropped off a few things.

“And we will see on fight night.”

One supporter drove for three hours to see Warrington undertake his public workout yesterday afternoon.

And that kind of loyal support is something that helps to spur the Leeds fighter on.

He said: “One fella has drove three hours to be here today, I am not fighting I am just doing a workout. You can’t buy that loyalty. I have to pinch myself at times when people make that much of an effort to come along and see me working out for 10 to 15 minutes.”

He added: “I don’t want to let those people down, who have paid their hard-earned money.”