IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington 29-0 (6) is targeting a unification fight in the United States after outpointing Kid Galahad 26-1 (15) at First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK on Saturday night.
Warrington started slowly but came on late to be awarded the split decision victory by scores of 116-113, 115-112 and 113-115.
The ‘Leeds Warrior’ now wants to face either WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz, WBC titleholder Gary Russell Jr or WBO boss Oscar Valdez across the Atlantic after previously defeating Le Selby and Carl Frampton at home.
“There is nothing left for me over here.” Said Warrington. “When I beat Selby, I went straight for a big opponent. That is what I always want. The big fights. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself. I want to test myself against the champions. There is no one left over here. It has to be another world champion.
“Santa Cruz (the Mexican three-weight world champion who is widely considered the best in the division) would be fantastic. Santa Cruz he is top of the tree. I don’t want to come back and fight someone from the car wash. I want the big fights to make me s*** myself.
“I would like to go to the US for the memories, the experience.”
Warrington’s father and coach, Sean O’Hagan, blamed Galahad for what was an ugly fight at times marred by clinching.
“I feel sorry for those who paid to watch that. I thought, and I will be honest, I thought the judge that give it his way was appalling, shouldn’t be judging,” O’Hagan said.
“He come to spoil and they give him the win. Any other ref, he would have been disqualified. Shoving down, elbows. We could see it. Not making excuses.”
Warrington admitted it wasn’t the prettiest of fights.
“They are not all going to be fights of the year, I kind of knew it would be scruffy fight, but you won’t sell it by saying that,” he said. “Fair play to him. But I said you have to come to a champion’s back yard and take the title and he didn’t. We did the business and we move on.”
Galahad was pragmatic about the loss.
“It is what it is. Josh was strong and he won it and that’s all that matters,” he said.