Josh Warrington Vacates IBF Title Before His Return on February 13

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January 22, 2021 6:40 pm

British featherweight champion Josh Warrington relinquished his IBF belt. The undefeated fighter made the hard decision to vacate in order to cement his legacy as his mandatory obligations meant he could not make the fights he wanted.

Reports suggested the Yorkshireman would take this step should he not be able to secure the fight he desired. SkySports, and others, have now confirmed the decision from the Englishman.

Warrington will take on Mauricio Lara on February 13; however, he had his sights set on things after that. The ‘Leeds Warrior’ wanted to fight unification bouts after Lara. Unfortunately, the IBF refused to sanction the unification bout. Instead, they ordered him to face his mandatory.

Speaking to SkySports about his decision, he said, “It’s disappointing we couldn’t have the IBF title on the line, but I can’t let those decisions stand in the way of me going down in British boxing history by facing the very best in the division.”

Thus, these comments showed his frustration towards the sanctioning body that forced him to take this decision.

READ: Josh Warrington Return Date Announced – Will Not Face Xu Can

Who does Josh Warrington want to fight?

Warrington’s primary reason for vacating the titles was his desire to create a legacy. The fight that the IBF was refusing to sanction was against Xu Can, who is the WBA champion. The tentative date for that fight, which would also include the Ring Magazine Lineal title, was April 24.

His other option is Gary Russell, who is the WBC champion in the division. Furthermore, just like with Xu Can, this fight would also include the Ring Magazine Lineal title. This is a title that is held in high regard among boxing faithful.

Warrington opened up on the Lineal title and said, “I’ve always dreamt about winning the Ring belt, for me it leaves no doubt who the king of the division is. Right now, my mind and focus is on Lara for February 13 and then I’m looking to pick up that beautiful red and blue belt.”

This is yet another example of too many belts spoiling the sport. However, fans will respect Warrington for choosing to vacate to make the big fights happen. He has made his intentions clear, and it’s up to his opponents to do their bit.

What do you make of this decision? Do you think Josh Warrington did the right thing and is he capable of becoming the Lineal champion?

READ: Boxing Schedule 2021: Matchroom Announces Mega Fights Including Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte 2

Leonardo Carvalho

Leonardo Carvalho is a boxing journalist at EssentiallySports. His love for the sport stems from the fact that he is an athlete who has played soccer at a high level for several years; he represented his state at a National Level meet. His passion for soccer and fitness led him to admire the challenges of a boxer, and he now writes about the sport he has learned to love. His favorite boxers are Anthony Joshua and Caleb Plant.

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