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Josh Warrington salutes “passionate, old-style” Belfast fans

Josh Warrington has fast become famous for the electric atmosphere’s he creates in his home city of Leeds at the First Direct Arena, and the featherweight had some kind words to say about the Belfast fight scene.

The World title-chasing Matchroom star was at the Europa Hotel last night to cheer on fellow Yorkshire man Maxi Hughes in his British title eliminator with James Fryers, and chatted to irish-boxing.com afterwards.

The unbeaten 25 year old admitted that the MHD Promotions show “was really really good,” and noted that “when I was coming up it wasn’t always arena shows for me, I did these sort of small hall shows and it’s what boxing’s all about”

“These small hall shows are brilliant – the fighters give it their absolute all and the fans are all on top so it’s very close and compact so it’s a brilliant atmosphere.”

Indeed the immensely popular Sky Sports star fell somewhat in love with the Titanic City during his short trip and described how “Belfast is a great city, you look at how their fans get behind Carl Frampton for instance – it swells to create a very passionate, old-style atmosphere.”

“They’re great fans and it’s been a pleasure coming over here and thanks for all the support, everyone’s been coming over and asking me how I’m doing and showing us lots of respect so I’m very grateful.”

Of course, Warrington was in Ireland’s fight capital as part of the opposition team, and the Englishman agreed with his countryman’s victory over local lad Fryers in the main event.

Warrington reasoned that “without trying to be too biased, and obviously Maxi is a very good friend as well as a regular sparring partner, I had Maxi winning by four and I was trying to be as straight done the line as I could.”.”

The Leeds man elaborated, saying that “I just think that as we got into the second half of the fight Maxi was making him miss and he was picking his shots and just landing more.”

“The rounds in the earlier stages were quite tight but towards the back end of the fight Maxi just ran away with it.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie