Featherweight world titlist Josh Warrington is finally scheduled to make his mandatory defense against Kid Galahad on June 15, promoter Frank Warren said on Tuesday in a report to ESPN. The fight between the two rival will take place at Leeds Arena in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds, England and will air on the streaming service ESPN+.
The fight had formerly been planned but finalized to take place on May 4 in Leeds but it was delayed for a month because Warrington was dealing with a minor hand injury.
Warrington (28-0, 6 KOs), will be making his second title defense after upsetting Lee Selby by split decision to win the 126-pound belt last May followed by a great showing in his first defense, a unanimous decision against former world titleholder Carl Frampton in December.
“All of sudden people are saying I am capable of beating every featherweight in the world and with that comes expectation,” Warrington said. “I will go into this fight as the bookies’ favorite, but I will be 100 percent focused and looking to do a job.
“I knew (Galahad) when we were amateurs, and he was always a decent guy, but over the last few years he seems to have changed and put on some persona. He did well at (junior featherweight), but he has beaten nobody as a featherweight and he has lost respect from me for some of his antics. I am concentrating purely on (Galahad), but after this I want one of the other world champions. I want champion after champion.”
Warrington: "I am the best featherweight in the world, but as champion you've got to defend your belt against all challengers and on June 15 Barry is in the way."
Galahad: "It is my destiny and I am here now and I am gonna rip that title from them in his home town.” pic.twitter.com/bsvBU3bXT5
— Boxing News (@BoxingNewsED) March 20, 2019
Galahad (26-0, 15 KOs), gained the mandatory title shot by defeating Toka Kahn Clary in a final elimination bout in October in Boston. In his last fight, Galahad won an eight-round decision over Brayan Mairena in a December matchup.
“Josh’s biggest asset is that people underestimate him and he is a lot better than what he looks,” Galahad said. “He’s strong, tough, durable and mentally strong, but I have the skill, will and mental toughness to beat him.
“He beat me fair and square when we were amateurs, but down the line I knew I would always fight him again. This is professional boxing, different game. Why am I the man to beat him? I know mentally that I am on a different level and I have the best team in British boxing.
“He is going to walk onto a shot, he is going to get hurt very badly and his dad, who trains him, will stop the fight because he will make an emotional decision and throw in the towel around round six, seven or eight.”
Warrington did not take the prediction very seriously at the press conference.
“That prediction makes me giggle. It is funny how these scenarios get drawn up,” Warrington said. “He isn’t in touch with reality and talking daft. It is playground stuff. He can spout off what he likes, but when the first bell goes it will be me against him and we will see how special he and his team are then.”