“I Will Be World Champion Again!” Vows Warrington After Lara Defeat.
Updated: Mar 3
By Matt Waters
Josh Warrington speaks exclusively to Waters Writes as he reflects on his first defeat and how he targets revenge in the rematch this summer.
A MONTH on from his shock defeat to Mauricio Lara, the former IBF Featherweight World Champion Josh Warrington revealed his immediate intentions of regaining his world number one spot.
He said: “I will be World Champion again; this was just a slip-up and I need to rewrite this wrong as soon as possible so I can get back to being number one again.
“If I were still moping about and sulking, I’d probably consider hanging my gloves up but I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym and rewriting this wrong."
Warrington was set to fight in a career-defining unification clash with the WBA World Champion Can Xu before the ‘Monster’ pulled out only weeks before their scheduled bout.
The Leeds Warrior re-signed with Matchroom in 2019 and admitted he had too much focus on Can Xu and a “cocky attitude,” going into his fight with Mauricio Lara.
“I had one foot in that fight with Can Xu and you can’t afford to take those percentages off like that at this level and he took advantage of that.
“I’ve always feared getting beat and, in this fight, maybe I thought it was a given that I’d beat Lara.
“It was a cocky attitude to have and something I’ve never had before. I took my eye off the ball and it showed you cannot take anything for granted at this level.
“I made basic mistakes and I treated him with too much respect, and you can’t do that to someone with killer instincts."
However, the Leeds man has not been short of support as he revealed a facetime call, he had with the WBO, WBA and IBF Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua made him feel “more human.”
“My biggest fear was how my mindset was going to be, so it was great to hear how he dealt with it and how he built himself back up.
“It was refreshing to know that someone as big as him can give me that advice and make me feel a bit more human.
“My careers on the line and I understand I can’t be getting beaten again. I cannot afford any more slip-ups and that is what drives me."
Despite his loss to Lara, the former IBF World Champion still believes there are more memorable and entertaining nights ahead for him and his supporters.
“Gary Russell Jr, Can Xu, and Emanuel Navarrete probably think I’m an easy touch now but, in my head, I still think I beat them all.
“Kid Galahad is behind me; I don’t want to cross that bridge again because there’s more entertaining fights out there.
“I’m always hungry because you don’t want to lose that top spot and now I have I want it back."
Eddie Hearn teased on Instagram that he plans for the rematch against Mauricio Lara to take place at Headingley Stadium on September 4th and Josh added he was eager to fight again in front of fans.
“It’s my hometown and I’m a massive fan of Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos and whilst my fanbase has grown wider than Leeds that’s where it started for me.
“I represent the city and I get tremendous amounts of support. I’ll do the best I can do for them in the ring this fight and any other.”
Josh’s shock defeat to Lara came after spending 16 months out of the ring and with his career now on the line, can the Leeds Warrior use his rejuvenated spirit to reignite a new chapter in the Featherweight Division?