Josh Warrington Wins IBF Featherweight Title

Fighting in front of his hometown fans at Elland Road, Josh Warrington has won his first world title in a highly-intense fight against Lee Selby.

Warrington defeated Selby by split decision (115-113 Selby, 116-112 Warrington, 115-113 Warrington) to win the IBF featherweight world title in what was a blood-filled war that saw Selby take the majority of the punishment.

The fight started off well for the unbeaten challenger, taking away Selby’s height and reach advantage to land several hard body shots throughout the first two rounds. An accidental clash of heads near the end of the second round opened up a cut above Selby’s left eye that started to bleed almost instantaneously.

Selby eventually got back into the fight using his jab and long reach and appeared to be winning rounds. With the cut getting worse, the fight was almost stopped midway through the fight before the referee allowed Selby to continue fighting. Selby continued to outwork and outbox Warrington, but Warrington continued to land numerous power punches to Selby’s head. Despite the constant punishment Selby received throughout the fight, he was able to almost even things out by landing the jab and putting forward pressure on Warrington.

By the time the fight entered the championship rounds, Selby was back in the fight but still faced an uphill battle on the scorecards. Selby continued to outjab Warrington, who was trying to go for the knockout punch. Warrington landed some strong shots on Selby, but the champion still did not go down which forced the fight to go the distance.

With the win over Selby, not only does Warrington win his first world title, but also becomes the first boxing world champion to come out of Leeds, England. As for what is next for Warrington, there had been talks of the winner facing interim WBO featherweight champion Carl Frampton in Frampton’s next fight in August, but promoter Frank Warren said in a post-fight interview that Warrington vs. Frampton likely will not happen in August.

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