This past weekend in Leeds, British boxing showed its potential to create fantastic nights of entertainment for not only the hardcore boxing fans.
23-year-old Josh Warrington headlined the Matchroom bill - labelled as 'Battle Lines' - in his hometown and the atmosphere can only be described as something very special.
Warrington - who has come out of virtual obscurity to become British, Commonwealth and now European champion - walked out to the crowd pumping tune of the Kaiser Chiefs' ‘I Predict A Riot’. The crowd were jumping up and down and creating a truly inspiring atmosphere.
The same can’t be said for Warrington’s opponent as 35-year-old Frenchman Davide Dieli entered to a truly hostile crowd. Such an intimidating atmosphere must have shocked him as not often in the sport of boxing are such scenes witnessed.
Warrington put on a fantastic display which has boxing fans licking their lips for the potentially huge nights in Leeds to come over the next few years.
Warrington’s workrate was relentless and combined with a good jab, good foot movement and pin-point accuracy, it made for a recipe far too hot for Dieli to stomach.
Warrington floored his opponent in the fourth round before ending the contest shortly after in the same round with a flurry of punches unloading on Dieli without response.
The referee rightly stepped in to prevent the overwhelmed Dieli from suffering further punishment in a fight he was never going to be able to turn in his favour.
Warrington was near perfect on the night and at only 23 he is a very big ticket seller. He has a huge fan base in Leeds which looks set to continue to build with performances such as the one on Saturday night.
Big credit has to go to Warrington himself for his rapid rise but also to his manager Steve Wood for the great job he has done in pushing him forward over the last year in association with promoter Eddie Hearn.
Warrington is a very humble and mature young man and to be headlining big bills like this at such a young age must be an incredible feeling for him. He is becoming a real star and is really starting to knock on the door of fellow British featherweight Lee Selby.
If both continue winning then a massive domestic dust-up between the two for a world title looks in store sometime next year.
Warrington probably needs to look at defending the European title a few times to gain more experience and to allow him to develop as a fighter before he is moved up to world level.
With a talent like Warrington, you want to make sure that he progresses correctly and at just 23 there is no need to rush him.
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