Boxing: Josh Warrington Retains Featherweight Title

Boxing: Josh Warrington Retains Featherweight Title

Josh Warrington shot down French invader Sofiane Takoucht to tee up his own USA onslaught in 2020.

The IBF featherweight champion of the world made it a hat-trick of defenses of the red 9th belt with a vicious second-round win over the tough visitor.

In front of 6,000 die-hard fans at his local Leeds Arena, the proud Yorkshire lad sent the challenger packing for daring to make a bid for his hard-earned gold.

Warrington, 28, who is a dedicated supporter of the armed forces in the North of England, was accompanied to the ring by the uniformed personnel of the 6th Regiment RLC.

Boxing: Josh Warrington Retains Featherweight Title
Josh Warrignton and Sofiane Takoucht

It was a nice gesture after he had beaten one of their sharpshooters in the rifle range, on a tour of their Dishforth base in the weeks leading up to the bout.

And the Royal Dragoon Guard pipes and drum band boomed out alongside the patriotic Englishman before he waged war on Takoucht.

The dominant home victory should now ensure he and his dedicated legion of fans can book an American adventure next year, in a bid to unify the division against WBC boss Gary Russell Jr or potential WBO champ Shakur Stevenson.

Josh Warrington looked sensational on the scales on Friday but SunSport understands Takoucht misjudged his weight cut and was well under the featherweight limit ahead of schedule.

At the first bell, both men looked fighting fit but the daunting walk into the lion’s den must have made Takoucht’s confidence shrivel up, as his entrance was bombarded with boos and whistles.

And there were raised eyebrows when the flat-nosed, stubbly 33-year-old was introduced by his nickname of ‘Babyface’.


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The opener was impressively even, both men planted their feet and traded without any polite introductions.

A right hook from Warrington was the best shot of the bunch, stiffening Tukoucht’s legs briefly.

And he never got a chance to survived the second stanza.

One stiff right dropped him early on, a ruthless combination dropped him again moments later and referee Bob Williams dived in when a third attack threatened to do Takouchet serious harm.

The valiant loser had arrived in Leeds with six losses from his 35 wins but he had never been stopped while Warrington reached the ring with a 29-0 record but only six wins inside the distance, the last way back in 2017.

But accusations that he lacked the KO power to go on and unify the division were blasted out by this blistering performance.

Boxing: Josh Warrington Retains Featherweight Title
Josh Warrignton Duels Sofiane Takoucht

Warrington said: “There was nothing personal between us but I took my frustration at not getting a unification clash out on him.

“It shows that what we’ve been working on has worked. The last fight was a wake-up call.

“I’ve made it very clear, my first defense was Carl Frampton and my second was my mandatory. My options are open but if anyone wants it, I’m here.”

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