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Windsor too soon but Leeds fans will invade Belfast for Frampton bout, vows Warrington

 

By David Charlsworth

Josh Warrington would have no qualms about travelling to Belfast to take on Carl Frampton but the new IBF featherweight champion is doubtful a bout can be arranged for this summer.

Warrington became the first boxer from Leeds to win a world title when, fighting at his beloved Elland Road, he clinched a shock split decision victory over Lee Selby following a barnstorming 12 rounds.

The Yorkshireman was able to drag the usually slick Selby into the trenches and his relentless aggression and furious flurries saw him rewarded by two of the judges with scores of 116-112 and 115-113, with the third giving his Welsh foe the nod by a 115-113 margin.

Warrington agrees that facing Frampton should happen sooner rather than later but dropped a broad hint he will not make the first defence of his crown when the Northern Ireland man fights at Windsor Park in August. "Carl Frampton keeps on getting mentioned but Windsor Park might be a little bit too soon, we'll have to see about that," Warrington said.

"I wouldn't mind going back to the Leeds Arena, have another nutty night there, defend the title and then possibly see about fighting Carl after that.

"About two weeks ago I passed Carl and I saw that he'd picked Selby to win so I said 'Listen, Selby's having it and after that we'll have a chat and I wouldn't mind coming to Windsor Park and fighting you'.

"The Leeds fans love an away day - a Leeds fan invasion into Belfast."

Warrington, who extended his perfect professional record to 27-0, 6KOs, became a father to twin girls earlier this year and he revealed his immediate thoughts were on parental duties.

But he reflected on an emotional roller coaster after ending Selby's three-year reign as world champion in a career-best performance. The former dental technician was a clear underdog but was galvanised by a raucous reception as he upset the odds in front of an estimated 25,000 partisan crowd.

"I could die a happy man, I really could," Warrington added. "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.

"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."

Asked whether a rematch with Selby was a possibility, Warrington said: "Lee talked about it but we have to weigh up the options. The ball is in my court, I'm the champion now. The world is my oyster now."

Selby was given a hostile welcome in the fifth defence of his title and a couple of accidental head clashes left him with cuts around both eyes inside the first half of the fight.

Selby (now 26-2, 9KOs) wrote on Twitter yesterday morning: "I was Britain's longest reigning World Champion but it came at a price and I felt that in the ring last night."

Belfast Telegraph

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