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Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington to clash on October 8, winner could get Joe Cordina

Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington. Photo credit: Getty Images

WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood 27-3 (16) will defend his title against former two-time IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington 31-2-1 (8) at Utility Arena in Sheffield, England on October 8.

And promoter Eddie Hearn already has a plan for the victor to move up in weight to face 31-year-old Welshman and IBF super featherweight champion Joe Cordina 16-0 (9).

“I spoke to Joe yesterday and he’s up for it,” the Matchroom Boxing boss said to BBC Sport.

“Josh and Leigh just want big fights – that’s what motivates them. Once you see the build-up and the city support behind them, everyone – especially the fighters – know what’s on the line and they’ll fight with pride.”

Nottingham’s Wood, 35, is coming off a career-best performance when scored a revenge win over Mexican hardnut Mauricio Lara 26-5-1 (19) in their May rematch.

“In the Lara rematch I felt sharp in between my ears and physically. I feel those fights, with tiny little breaks while still training, has put me in a good position,” Wood said.

“I’ve got my girls with me and I’m taking them on training camp with me tomorrow as well. I’ve got my boxer and parenting head on.

“Obviously I wanted this fight to happen at the City Ground. That was my dream – and still is. That being said, we are meeting halfway in Sheffield, at the Utilita Arena, and it is going to make for an unbelievable atmosphere with a 50/50 split down the arena.

“I’ve done that before, of course, when I fought Michael Conlan. The walkouts then were something special and, of course, this time we’ve both got even bigger followings, in a bigger arena and we have both of our football clubs behind us too. I can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere. I know it will be quite hostile with both sets of fans battling it out vocally, but it should make for a great night.

“I don’t take confidence from knowing Lara beat Josh and that I beat Lara. I take confidence in the fact that I know I’m the better fighter. It has taken me so long for me to prove this and I’ve waited a long time for this fight to happen.

“I’ve been goading Josh for years, even sending him videos on Twitter when I was in ‘No Man’s Land’ and not getting big fights or really getting a look in. I was in a bad place and didn’t have a promoter. Now we’ve come full circle, where I’m the reigning champion and defending against Josh. It’s quite unbelievable.”

Warrington, 32, of Leeds is coming off a close majority decision loss to Luis Alberto Lopez 28-2 (16) in December last year.

“No-one ever thought I’d win a Commonwealth title, let alone be a two-time world champion,” Warrington said.

“So why can’t I dream more? Why can’t I dream to be a unified champion? To become a two-weight champion or treat my fans to a Las Vegas fight week?

“There’s mutual respect, we don’t have to be shouting and screaming or chucking tables at each other to have a barnstormer of a fight.

“I went into the Lopez fight after jaw surgery and I was just too worried about it getting whacked.

“I finished well on top but it is one that will haunt me for ever.”