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Josh Warrington would love to return 'home' to Belfast for Frampton showdown

 

By David Kelly

He may be a hero in Leeds but Josh Warrington's roots are in Belfast and the 27-year-old would relish a Windsor Park showdown with Carl Frampton in August.

Speaking exclusively to the Belfast Telegraph, Warrington's father Sean O'Hagan has revealed that his father Edward was born and bred on the Falls Road but left to find work.

The Belfast connection has remained, despite the family remaining in Leeds and, as Warrington prepares to challenge Lee Selby for the IBF World featherweight title this Saturday night at Elland Road, Sean is hoping his son can set up a mouth-watering clash with the Jackal.

Frampton will be at ringside on Saturday night working for BT Sport knowing that the winner of Selby-Warrington is the red hot favourite to be the man in the opposite corner when promoter Frank Warren stages his Windsor Park dream fight - tentatively set for August 18, though it could be pushed back a week to the 25th.

Sean has been training his son since his amateur days and while he enters the clash with Selby as the underdog there is a real air of confidence surrounding their camp as they go gunning for the world title.

"I think Selby is now a seven round fighter, he's very effective for three or four rounds. He uses the jab well and then tries to bring over the right hand but he fades a lot and he doesn't like being under pressure," said Sean.

"I am very confident that Josh can win the world title.

"Selby is banking on us walking in on straight lines but we'll not be doing that," added Sean.

"Then I would love nothing more than to come to Windsor Park in Belfast for Josh to face Carl. I like Carl a lot, I've nothing bad to say about him because he's an honest, straight-up guy and it would be a great fight.

"I often get a flight to Belfast just because we love the place. My grandfather Edward was a cobbler and he only left the Falls Road because he needed to get full-time work.

"We're a big Irish family, we have lots of family over there and there's a big Irish community here in Leeds."

Sean's Belfast connections also extend to newly-crowned European and Commonwealth super-featherweight champion James Tennyson, who caused an upset two weeks ago when stopping Martin Ward on the undercard to Tony Bellew's victory over David Haye.

"I know James Tennyson and his coach Tony Dunlop very well. They did a good bit of preparation for the Ward fight in our gym - they had some very good sparring and when I saw that I was expecting him to beat Ward," added Sean.

"James is a very big lad for the weight and he seems to be progressing and developing with every fight.

"I have noticed in particular that he is more patient in how he goes about his work - creating better openings and using more angles. I really believe that he can go on and win a version of the world title"

If Warrington is to triumph at the home of Leeds United, then Sean feels it is the steady development against good opposition that will see him rise to the occasion and give a career-best performance which will cut down Welsh wizard Selby.

"In this fight Selby has got a real, live opponent in front of him. Josh has been in with some very good fighters and I think it's interesting that all of his last 10 wins have come by stoppage," said Sean.

"Selby hasn't fought anyone like Josh before and he will show on the night what he's all about - and I'm sure Elland Road will inspire him. Then hopefully we can talk about Belfast and a fight with Carl."

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