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Josh Warrington looking to emulate his heroes, planning US invasion

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington 30-0 (7) is looking to emulate the achievements of his heroes Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, Lennox Lewis and Prince Naseem Hamed.

The 29-year-old ‘Leeds Warrior’ was scheduled to face China’s WBA 126-pound champion Can Xu 18-2 (3) at Headingley in May before the global coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the bout.

Warrington is confident the fight will be rescheduled and he will still have the chance to unify the division.

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“It’s stuff that you grow up dreaming of,” he said to the Daily Star. “But I never thought anything like this would happen to myself.

“I was always a confident lad, but not someone who thought I could be a world champion.

“All of a sudden we are here, world champion, three defences behind me, a huge fan base and it’s growing.

“Huge fights in America and joining that list is not out of the picture anymore. It could be a reality.

“There’s talks of going to the States and fighting at Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas, it’s the stuff you dream of.

“I grew up watching Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, Lennox Lewis and Naz (Prince Naseem Hamed) go over there and make their mark to become legends.

“I used to think ”wow’ and you never think that will happen.

“Now I’m making memories for people and it’s creating a legacy in my name.”

Warrington has been keeping busy at his Leeds home with his wife Natasha and their twin daughters.

“I’ve been going out for a run, I’ve got my own gym so I have the keys to go there but I can’t have my coaches in with me,” continued Warrington.

“It’s frustrating but you have to just keep working, as boxers we need a date to know when to peak so, for now, it’s just about keeping in shape.

“I think my wife is liking it that I’m around a lot more to help with the kids.

“But I’m looking out at the decking now and thinking ‘That could do with a bit of painting’. The garden patio could do with a bit of power wash, too.”

“We had the Xu fight ready to go but it all just popped like a balloon when the pandemic got worse. Hopefully we will be ready to go once it’s safe to do so.”

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