New IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington has reconfirmed he is open to putting his title on the line against Carl Frampton – but still thinks August 18th would prove too soon following his sensational win over Lee Selby.
The winner of last Saturday’s Elland Road-hosted world title fight had been mooted as a possible Windsor Park opponent for ‘The Jackal’ but, upon surprising Selby, Warrington talked down the possibility of a first defence in Belfast.
Most surmised Frampton needed a routine Selby victory to ensure he was afforded the chance to challenge for the IBF this Summer but the Leeds man caused an upset and thus somewhat upset the Belfast fighter’s plans.
27-year-old Warrington is still open to a domestic dust up that will also see two of the best supports in boxing go head to head, but doesn’t believe it will happen this Summer.
Instead, Warrington claims is keen for the fight to occur later in the year – however, he also wants to squeeze in a First Direct Arena defence first. This would, naturally, take place later than August 18th and would mean that his next fight would most likely be bumped until early next year.
“I will sit down with Frank [Warren, promoter] and look at our next options,” he said.
“Windsor Park might be too soon. I wouldn’t mind going back to the arena in Leeds and defending my title.
“My heart says let’s get it on, I am a big fan of Carl Frampton and it would be a big payday. But I prefer the end of the year. I need some time to let this sink in.
“We will weigh up options. [The] world’s my oyster now isn’t it?”
While his timelines may be off, Warrington’s mention of a Winter Frampton fight is interesting.
‘Windsor or Elland Road?’ had been a question floated regarding a Summer 2019 clash between the pair, but an indoors earlier meeting, perhaps at the Manchester Arena could also appeal in terms of logistics and costings.
Frampton fans took over the venue in early 2016 for his Sky Box Office bout with Scott Quigg and something similar could be envisioned for Warrington.
Alternatively there is the similarly large O2 Arena in London which, at 20,000-capacity, is only slightly smaller than the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena.
The former dental nurse, whose style would appeal to Frampton, was a clear underdog going into the fight at the weekend but, inspired by a raucous crowd, managed the upset – and the fighter who started out with a British title dream was only to happy to remind the nay-sayers of his victory.
“I was doubted at English level, I was doubted at British level, I wasn’t meant to go any further than that. But I outboxed, outfoxed and outsmarted a brilliant champion in Lee Selby.”
“I could die a happy man, I really could. How do you top that? Anything’s possible.”
“The last 18 weeks have been emotional: in those 18 weeks my baby girls have been born, I’ve had to deal with them crying at two, three, four, five o’clock in the morning and then go to sparring the next day.”
“My beautiful wife has helped me out massively and so has my whole family.”