Leigh Wood defends his featherweight world title this weekend, in a spicy domestic matchup with Josh Warrington. It’s a good fight between two aggressive boxers. We’ve seen Leigh Wood in action twice already this year, losing this belt to Mauricio Lara in February then winning it back in May. Warrington, meanwhile, lost his IBF world title to Luis Alberto Lopez last December, so this is a great chance for him to get back to the champion class once again.
It’s also a clash between fighters with strong ties to two rival football clubs. That means we’re going to see about 13,000 Nottingham Forest and Leeds United fans pile into the Sheffield Arena, about midway between both cities. Expect a hell of an atmosphere.
The co-main event sees Terri Harper fight Cecila Braekhus, for Harper’s WBA super-featherweight title and the vacant WBO. This was supposed to happen back in May (on the Wood-Lara 2 card) but illness for Braekhus saw it fall through. It should be a good contest, though, so it’s good to see it happen now.
Aside from that, the card features a clash of unbeaten featherweight prospects, as Hopey Price faces off with Connor Coghill. The 23-year-old Price has some hype and marketing push behind him- it’s possible if he wins that we might see him in with the winner of the main event in future (though likely not immediately), but in any case he’s one to keep an eye on. We’ll also see a middleweight fight between Kieron Conway and Linus Udofia.
The main card can be found on DAZN starting at 2PM ET (7PM local British time), with the Leigh Wood vs. Josh Warrington main event ringwalks expected around 5PM ET (10PM local British time). Stay tuned here for any updates on that.
Update: Half an hour late because most of the earlier fights went the distance, but we’re seeing ringwalks for the main event now. Join me below for the play-by-play.
If you’re interested in the prelims, you can follow them on Matchroom’s before-the-bell livestream on youtube, at the bottom of the page.
Leigh Wood vs Josh Warrington round-by-round
Round 1: They meet in the middle and both fighters open up throwing, no feeling out. Wood trying to keep the smaller Warrignton on the back foot but Warrington not hesitant to throw. Lands another combination and then spins Wood into the corner. Some clinches already but broken up quickly. Heads coming close too, as is typical of Warrington fights. A right hand from Warrington clips Wood coming in. Wood isn’t using his jab enough, Warrington is walking him onto shots. Wood goes southpaw as the round ends, stabbing a jab to the body and folliwing it with straight lefts. Close, back-and-forth round, but 10-9 Warrington
Round 2: Wood back out in southpaw, did have a bit more success in that stance in the first round. They clinch up to start and Warrington repeatedly spinning Wood around. The southpaw stance is good for Wood because it’s giving him more room to intercept as Warrington charges forward. A big bodyshot makes Warrington flinch. Warrington lands a couple of his own but Wood has the upper hand in the second. Intercepting the rushes forward very well, Warrington needs to find ways to angle off as he approaches. Big right hand from Warrington towards the end of the round but 10-9 Wood, 19-19
Round 3: Warrington more proactive with his head movement as he comes in at the start of the round. Something caught Wood’s attention, and he doesn’t look great. Not sure if it was a punch or head clash, but either way it left him on the ropes for a bit and Warrington unloaded. Wood recovers but now Warrington has the upper hand. Good fight so far. And now the referee lets them work out of the clinch, giving Warrington time to land some very nice shots in close. The ref breaks them after a low blow and Wood responds on th restart with a nice intercepting left. But immediately the pressure back on and Wood is falling to the ropes. He looks surprised by Warrington’s power here- not the first to see that happen. Ripping bodyshots by Warrington and Wood looks a bit hesitant here. 10-9 Warrington, 29-28, terrific fight so far
Round 4: Wood back to orthodox in this round. Wood tucks up behind his gloves and presses again. Wood throwing more here and having success pushing Warrington back a bit. Warrington finding counters well though. The orthodox stance from Wood is much better for Warrington because he’s slipping outside Wood’sjab then working the body, it’s much safer for him to approach and disengage. Wood is struggling to protect his chin, and there’s a huge speed advantage for Warrington at the moment. Straight right snap Wood’s head back. Wood lands a good right but two in response for Warrington. And a rough finish in which Warrington has the advantage. 10-9 Warrington, 39-37
Round 5: Wood has a cut to his right eye, which was caused by a punch so if it opens to a stoppage level it’ll be a Warrington win. Not that bad yet but Wood is getting belted. Still in orthodox but even though the occasional punch is landing, Warrington is far too close for his comfort. Warrington jabs his way in then follows with a lovely right that staggers Wood. More balance than dazed but not a great sign, Warrington finding the angles with comfort now. Bodyshot makes Wood visibly gasp. Wood tries to bait a shot to counter, gets caught to the body as he does, and freezes to let more shots land. He’s getting beaten up here. 10-9 Warrington, 49-46
Round 6: Wood’s attempts to push Warrington back are backfiring. Does land a decent bodyshot that pushes Warrignton back, but every time he steps in Warrington steps around then loops right hands over Wood’s low lead hand. Wood is complaining that some of those are going behind the head, but it’s pretty borderline and the ref says now. Another right hand sends him wobbling again. Wood tries to step in and finds himself the one intercepted. Warrington ducks down then hits a sharp bodyshot. His movement, speed and stregnth are all too much for the champion so far. 10-9 Warrington, 59-55
Round 7: Wood opens double jabbing. They land simultaneously and rock each other back, but Warrington recovers faster and goes to work. Now Warrington deducted points for punches behind the head. Odd considering earlier he said they were fine. But you do have to keep an eye on those, they’re the most dangerous foul in boxing. But Warrington responds by unloading in volume. A nice 102 by Wood lands. But the response by Warrington is a couple of hooks that land. He’s back to southpaw but the pace isn’t there now. His head is being snapped back repeatedly. They get close inside and Wood spends two seconds set up an uppercut while Warrington unolads. But then Wood knocks him down! The bell rings but the ref counts, and waves it off! Unbelievable! Huge KO and huge comeback!
It was a huge right hand that knocked Warrington silly and Wood followed up with several shots that eventually sent him down. Warrington couldn’t recover. Absolutely no quit in Wood.
It should be noted that Warrington did get up and said in his interview that he felt he could continue, but he didn’t turn to face the referee until after the count was over, so that’s on him. In any case he was badly hurt and there isn’t any real controversy about that stoppage.
Leigh Wood wins, TKO-7
Leigh Wood vs. Josh Warrington full card, live results and highlights
WBA featherweight world title: Leigh Wood vs Josh Warrington
- WBA champion Wood makes his defence of the title he won back from Lara in May. Warrington, a buzzsaw fighter often considered dirty, is seeking to win another world title having previously twice held the IBF at this weight.
- It’s a huge local event, with both fighters bringing football-crowd followings. Join me above for the round-by-round.
- In a cracking fight, Warrington was dominating the early running, but got knocked silly just as the bell rang at the end of the seventh. He stood up, but
- That’s the second time Wood has scored an enormous comeback after being dominated early, having done so to win this title for the first time against Michael Conlan last year.
- The first world title fight on the card sees Harper defend her WBA fight and seek to add the vacant WBO belt to her collection
- Harper (14-1-1, 6 KOs) was a former champion at super-featherweight, before losing those belts to Alycia Baumgardner and moving up multiple divisions to win the belt she holds at super-welter now. Braekhus (37-2-0, 9 KOs) is hugely experienced and a former undisputed title holder at welterweight.
- Harper was able to control much of the fight with her speed advantage over the 42-year-old Braekhus, but occasionally she’d let herself fall in and get into a pushing and pocket-boxing match with her much bigger opponent, making for some back-and-forth.
- Harper had appeared to do enough to get the win, but two of the judges scored it a draw, making that the majority decision. It’s not a glaring robbery, it was a nip-and-tuck kind of fight, but it does seem an odd one.
- This one could go either way, both in the result and, to be honest, in excitement. Both have history in both some very fun fights but also some less so.
- Conway (19-3-1, 4 KOs) has the, on paper, worse record, but also a lot more experience at higher levels. Udofia’s (18-1-0, 8 KOs) sole loss was to British champion Denzel Bentley. This fight is a chance for both to throw their hat back into the ring for British or Commonwealth title shots.
- It started off on the less exciting side, with Conway probably taking the lead on the account of applying a bit more pressure- but there wasn’t a lot of action in the early rounds.
- Conway stepped it up in the fifth, taking control of the fight and creating a huge swelling under Udofia’s right eye.
- That ended the fight, as the eye closed completely and the corner couldn’t bring the swelling down, so the referee called it off in the sixth.
- You don’t usually see them called that quickly, but it’s hard for a fighter to recover from that kind of injury- now way he’d be able to see Conway’s left hook coming.
- Conway now moves on to a British title shot.
- A clash of unbeaten fighters here. Price (11-0-0, 4 KOs) is the one with the marketing push, a slick defensive boxer and counterpuncher. Coghill (14-0-0, 1KO) hasn’t had nearly the kind of exposure in his career to date, but if he pulls out a win here that all changes.
- Price started well, but the second round saw Coghill land a big left hand that hurt him visibly and Coghill finished that round on the back foot.
- Coghill continued to punish a lazy jab throught the first half of the fight, but the end of the sixth saw him dropped as Price caught him leaning too far over his lead foot and punishing him with a tidy combo.
- After that, Price took over, as fatigue clearly took its toll on Coghill. He knocked his man down again in the 11th, though Coghill survived.
- Not for long though, as Price knocked him down twice more in the 12th and the referee called a halt.
- Bostan (6-0-0, 5KOs) has made a hard-punching start to his pro career. His opponent McCulloch is a decent fighter who holds the Scottish super-welterweight belt (not on the line here because Bostan, well, isn’t Scottish).
- Bostan showed his class, though, showing a constant but varied attack and some smooth, smooth switch-hitting
- He had McCulloch hurt in the third. The Scot survived that moment but was never really in the fight and a sustained barrage of shots in the sixth led the ref to wave it off.
- This one is a genuine step up for the 23-year-old Leivars (4-0-1, 0 KOs). Note that that draw was a technical decision after a clash of heads. Walker (12-5-0, 3KOs) has a lot of losses recently, but he’s fought at a much higher level than Leivars has to date.
- An impressive showing for Leivars, who was able to deal with the pressure Walker brought and pick holes in the veteran’s defence.
- Walker did manage to make Leivars sweat a bit in the late-middle rounds and opened one cut with a clash of heads and another probably with a punch.
- Leivars did enough work to keep him at bay though, and score the win on the referee’s scorecard in a fight he will have learned a lot from.
- This was the professional debut of the 22-year-old Vuong.
- Gomez was a good opponent for him based on style- Vuong is clearly a smart, stylish counterpuncher, and unlike some of these journeyman Gomez offered consistent pressure to allow him to show that off.
- He was also able to put on some educated pressure when he did need to.
- The KO came in the fourth when a lovely right uppercut forced Gomez to a knee. He did get a bit lucky though as a follow-up shot caught Gomez when he was already down. Gomez beat the count but shook his head no and it was waved off. The late shot was obviously accidental, not clean, and a DQ would have been unfortunate, but Vuong does need to be careful of that as he goes forwards.
- Other than that, though, a promising debut.
- The 23-year-old McNamara (5-0-0, 0KOs) making his 6th professional appearance here.
- No KOs just yet and he didn’t add one here, but it should be noted that he’s fighting the kind of journeymen that know how to lose without getting knocked out.
- This was a performance of consistent pressure from the up-and-comer, and he did find the openings for a knockdown in the final round.
- All-in-all, it was a decent showing, and he’ll be wanting to be given the step up soon to see what he can do against opponents who are there intending to try to beat him.
Free live stream for Leigh Wood vs. Josh Warrington undercard prelims
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