IBF Featherweight Champion
Date of Birth: 14/11/90
Record: 30-1 (7 KOs)
Height: 5ft 7in
JOSH WARRINGTON was tagged the ‘boxing tooth fairy’ when he worked as a dental technician, but his dreams came true by becoming a World champion
when he turned professional boxing on manager Steve Wood’s small hall shows, few expected him to go beyond British title level.
Now he is one of Britain’s best known boxers and despite a setback in February 2021 against Mauricio Lara he’s still fiercely determined to become a two-time World champion.
His stunning performance against Lee Selby in May 2018 to become IBF champion, was remarkable. More than 25,000 fans packed into the home of his beloved Leeds United hoping to witness something special against Selby, and the fervent Elland Road crowd were treated to huge performance from their hero and an upset just as big.
Warrington set the pace and never gave the defending champion a moment’s respite and after 12 action packed rounds he was the deserved winner.
It was also voted IBF Fight of the Year.
It was one of boxing’s great memories of last year with Josh collapsing to knees after winning and being serenaded by the Kaiser Chiefs who played live.
Despite that stunning performance, Warrington was written off by many when he made his first defence against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena in December 2018.
The contest had Fight of the Year potential and lived up to all expectations with Frampton never truly recovering from a shelling at the fists of Warrington in the opening two rounds.
At the end of 12 ferocious rounds, Warrington clearly came out on top after an unforgettable 36 minutes of brutality.
He was the underdog in both Selby and Frampton fights, but was fancied to see off mandatory challenger Kid Galahad at First Direct Arena, Leeds in June 2019.
It was a hard night for both and on a razor’s edge, but Warrington showed his mettle when it mattered and deservedly edged a split decision.
Unbeaten Warrington, has just seven inside the distance successes in his 30 wins, but two-weight
world champion Frampton insists he has never been hit harder.
Like so many boxers, Warrington’s progress has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and he hasn’t boxed since October 2019 when Frenchman Sofiane Takoucht was blown away inside two rounds.
Boxing politics then kicked off a horror period in his career. The IBF refused to sanction showdown with WBA regular champion Can Xu and ordered a
Galahad rematch. Josh and his team decided to relinquish and press ahead with a Xu fight in April 2021, but it all went wrong when he kept busy against Lara.
It was an awful night, and although no excuses were offered Warrington was a shadow of the man who was conquering the division.
He was dropped in round four by the heavy-handed Mexican and when he was floored again in the ninth, referee Howard Foster called stopped the fight.
The setback was a sledgehammer blow, but Warrington is determined to return later in 2021 and prove himself as one of the world’s elite Featherweights.
When he turned professional in October 2009 he was often stuck on the bottom of bills — boxing when TV cameras and chairs were being packed away at silly o'clock.
Four years later things started to pick up when he won the English title, but the only buzz about Warrington was in Leeds and he was still working in his dental job to make ends meet.
The big breakthrough came in November 2013 when he was booked in the away corner to fight local man Samir Mouneimne in Hull for the vacant Commonwealth crown and stopped his rival in round 12.
He was soon headlining shows at Leeds Arena and getting great experience beating fringe contenders like Joel Brunker and Hisashi Amagasa.
Warrington craved a world title shot and when he signed a promotional deal with Frank Warren in 2017, the Hall of Fame promoter made that promise
Warren stuck to his word and delivered Josh’s world title wins and three defences, but just before
coronavirus landed on the world, the boxer returned to former promoter Hearn.
Away from boxing, Warrington who is trained by his father, Sean O’Hagan is a rabid Leeds United fan and attends most home matches and many away games.
He lives on the outskirts of Leeds with his wife Natasha and their twins, Eliza and Olivia who were born in the run-up to the Selby fight.
Natasha is a trained chef and takes care of his diet in the build-up to his major fights. When he left school he considered joining the Marines, but his father helped him land a job as a dental technician so he had a solid career to fall back on if his boxing life faltered.
Such is his popularity there is also a documentary ‘Fighting For A City’ which followed Josh for two years before the Selby fight.