Josh Warrington delivered in the biggest fight of his career to upset the odds and clinch the IBF world featherweight title in a split decision victory over Lee Selby.
Warrington stated that he would have to put in the fight of his life to become a world champion for the first time and, roared on by a raucous Elland Road crowd, the Leeds favourite delivered just that.
The pre-fight predictions that Selby, champion since May 2015, would outbox his domestic rival failed to come to fruition, with Warrington the busier fighter, landing huge combinations and keeping Selby on the back foot for much of a pulsating bout.
Selby's cause was hindered by big cuts above both eyes, with the Welshman also complaining about shots to the back of the head.
But in truth, Warrington - who had been chasing Selby for the best part of two years and is now likely to pursue a fight with former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton - was a deserving victor and the only surprise was that Warrington, Leeds' first world champion, failed to get the unanimous decision.
The decibel levels at the home of Leeds United were already deafening as Warrington walked out to a live performance of the Kaiser Chiefs' 'I Predict a Riot', and the noise reached fever pitch when the local man landed a couple of huge left hooks in the opening round.
An accidental clash of heads sent the blood pouring above Selby's left eye in round two and Warrington kept up the pressure with a beautiful left-right combination.
Selby showed the spirit of a champion to stay in the fight but another good left from Warrington in the fourth kept the momentum in his favour.
Another accidental clash brought more blood seeping out of Selby's right eye, almost leading to the fight being stopped, but upon resumption Selby enjoyed his best moments.
Warrington found another gear again, though, with Selby doing well to take a big right uppercut in the 10th. And, as the fight turned into a slog in the closing rounds, it was evident that the night belonged to Warrington.
18 de enero 2019
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