Josh Warrington Vacates IBF Belt
Josh Warrington has today vacated his IBF World Title after the IBF refused to sanction his proposed unification fight in April.
Earlier this month, the proposed mega-fight with Xu Can was delayed with a new working date of April 24. Matchroom will now look to finalize that fight or make a giant match up with WBC king Gary Russell. Both the Can and Russell fights would be for the coveted Ring Magazine belt.
“It’s so important for Josh to be in a mega-fight after Lara on February 13,” said Matchroom Sport Managing Director Eddie Hearn. “He has his heart set on the Ring belt and it’s up to us to make the Can or Russell fights for April or early May. I’ve been working hard with Robert Diaz of Golden Boy to close Xu Can and also had several conversations with Luis De Cubas regarding a Gary Russell bout – both fights are Fight of the Year contenders.”
Warrington vacating the belt means we won’t get the rematch of Warrington and Kid Galahad which Warrington won via split decision back in July 2019. Something that anyone who has been following Warrington’s title reign know he wasn’t looking forward to again. Galahad had become the number one contender again after defeating Claudio Marrero in a title eliminator. To say Warrington hated the idea may be an understatement.
“It’s a bit of a joke,’ Warrington told Metro.co.uk back in October 2019. “I don’t understand how he got moved down to number eight in the rankings and is all of a sudden fighting an eliminator again. He must have complained. Really and truthfully, the guys in and around him aren’t doing much. Why is he all of a sudden there again? He’s not won the eliminator yet…we’ll see what happens.
Galahad won and today Warrington drops the belt. Hearn mentioned that this wouldn’t stop Warrington from challenging the best at 126.
“It’s disappointing we couldn’t have the IBF Title on the line, but I can’t let those decisions stand in the way of me going down in British boxing history by facing the very best in the division,” said Warrington. “I’ve always dreamt about winning the Ring belt, for me it leaves no doubt who the king of the division is. Right now, my mind and focus is on Lara for February 13 and then I’m looking to pick up that beautiful red and blue belt.”
Warrington will face Mauricio Lara on Saturday, February 13 live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S and the rest of the world.