There’s no room for complacency insists Leeds Warrior Josh Warrington

Josh Warrington insists there will be no complacency when he challenges IBF world featherweight champion Kiko Martinez in Leeds.

The Leeds Warrior has already beaten Spaniard Martinez, by a majority decision in May 2017, and will face him again at the same First Direct Arena in his hometown on March 26.

The 31-year-old said: “I’ve got the fanbase and the profile, but you need the belt to put you firmly in the driving seat because when I win back this belt I want to go and win some more.

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“I can’t afford anything other than a win. I can’t afford not to hear the words ‘and the new...’, that just has to happen.

HEAD TO HEAD: Josh Warrington, right, and Kiko Martinez, left, are pictured with promoter Eddie Hearn at a press conference today ahead of their fight in Leeds on March 26. Picture: Steve Riding.

“All my dreams about fighting the other champions in the States all goes out of the window if I don’t win. There will be no complacency.”

Martinez won the title in a big upset in November when knocking out Kid Galahad in the sixth round having been outclassed for most of their fight in Sheffield.

Warrington became IBF world champion with a split-decision victory over Lee Selby at Elland Road in January 2018 and successfully defended his title on three occasions.

He vacated his belt in January last year after the IBF had refused to sanction a unification fight with China’s WBA champion Xu Can.

ALL SMILES: Josh Warrington enjoys a joke at today's press conference with Kiko Martinez. Picture: Steve Riding.

Warrington suffered his first career loss the following month in a non-title fight against the unheralded Mauricio Lara after over a year of inactivity.

The Yorkshireman’s last appearance was in a rematch against Lara at Headingley Stadium in September, which ended in a technical draw after the Mexican was cut above his left eye in an accidental clash of heads.

Warrington added: “The Martinez fight a massive opportunity for me to get back on top. I lost a position of power when I got beaten by Lara last year. This gives me the key to unlocking even bigger fights.

“Don’t get me wrong, this is a big fight. I’ve beaten Kiko before, so if I can get my old belt back it puts me in a position to target the likes of (WBO champion Emanuel) Navarrete, who just beat Gary Russell Jnr.

“There’s also Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan. This Martinez fight is the key to open all these doors.”

Mexico’s WBO champion Navarrete and WBC champion Mark Magsayo, from the Philippines, are currently ranked number one and two respectively by Ring Magazine, with Warrington fourth behind Lara and Martinez fifth.