Patience can be a virtue for world champion Josh Warrington

Josh Warrington admitted he “had a bit of sulk and a bit of moan” as his hopes of a unification bout were dashed for now but the Leeds fighter hopes his patience will eventually be rewarded.

Josh Warrington: Ready for action.
Josh Warrington: Ready for action.

The IBF featherweight champion was eyeing fights against the division’s three other titlists after squeaking past mandatory challenger Kid Galahad in June – with WBO belt holder Oscar Valdez top of his wish list.

Valdez, though, has decided to relinquish his strap and move up a weight class while a bout against either Gary Russell Jr or Leo Santa Cruz – holders of the WBC and WBA crowns, respectively – were not forthcoming.

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Warrington, who has won all 29 of his professional contests, will, therefore, make the third defence of his world title against unheralded Frenchman Sofiane Takoucht on October 12 at the First Direct Arena in his home city.

Warrington said: “I had a bit of sulk and a bit of moan about the fact it’s not happened, slagged all the other fighters off.

“For my own personal highlight reel, to have the fight with Valdez or Santa Cruz – two of those names there – I just know it would be a fantastic fight so I’m disappointed it couldn’t happen.

“But the mind is keeping concentrating on winning. I don’t want to start thinking about what’s going to come after because it might be three fights down the line.

“It might be next year, it might be the year after that, it’s not as easy to make out as I first thought. All I’ve got to do is keep winning, winning in style and, hopefully, patience will prevail.”

Former European champion Takoucht has won 35, lost three and drawn one of his 39 professional outings and is placed fourth in the IBF rankings.

He will be a big underdog but Warrington said: “He’s going to give everything to grasp that belt from me.

“He’s going to go away, train as hard as he’s ever trained before and on October 12 I’m sure he’s going to bring his absolute best to try to win that world title.”