Boxing: Warrington, Frampton, Whyte, Chisora light up UK

Englishman Josh Warrington says he will upset bookmakers’ odds and defend his IBF featherweight title against Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton.

About 220 miles south at London’s O2 Arena, English heavyweights Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora meet with the latter saying he’s “surprised we are still boxing” after their brutal first contest in 2016.

Warrington is undefeated in 27 outings but has got used to being written off.

His world-title win over Lee Selby in May – at the home of his beloved Leeds United – has, he says, fuelled a determination to keep an honour he has grafted for since turning professional in 2009.

“I remember five years ago when my partner bought me tickets to watch Carl Froch v George Groves in Manchester Arena,” the 28-year-old told BBC Sport.

“I remember looking around thinking ‘I want to be part of these nights’ and now it’s happening.

“I love the journey we are on and I don’t want these nights to end. I have worked hard for a world title and I’m not just going to give it up like that.”

Warrington will be joined by Leeds United captain Liam Cooper on his ring walk in Manchester.

Both he and Frampton say a victory would catapult them to contests with any of the other three world champions at 126lb, with the bright lights of United States arenas likely venues.

Frampton has tasted big US nights before having held two world titles at super-bantamweight. He lost a world title at featherweight in January of 2017 in what is his only defeat to date, which he believes led some to write him off.

Eddie Hearn’s move to put Whyte’s rematch with Chisora on the same night was described as a “sabotage” move by rival promoter Frank Warren, who is behind the Warrington-Frampton show.

But the thrilling nature of their 2016 contest, won by Whyte on a split decision, created demand for a rematch.

Whyte has won four times since and appears close to a shot at WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who inflicted his only professional defeat in 2015.

Hearn has admitted that Whyte – who starts favourite – has more to lose, adding: “An injury, a bad cut, a loss, all those things can ruin the Joshua fight.”

Whyte, 30, told BBC Sport: “Losing to Anthony Joshua in 2015, the setback made me be honest with myself, take myself away, prepare myself and say ‘what you’re doing is not good enough’.

Whyte has made a habit of branding Chisora “a donkey”, based on his view the 34-year-old has been used and poorly handled by promoters during his 11-year professional career.

Chisora, who was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the UK in his teens, has now moved to work under the management of former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye.


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