Leigh Wood vs Josh Warrington Preview October 7th, 2023
WBA Featherweight Champion Leigh Wood meets fellow Englishman and former IBF Featherweight Champion Josh Warrington this Saturday, October 7th in Sheffield. The 12-rounder can be seen live on DAZN in most nations. Wood originally won the title in July, 2021 with a 12th-round TKO over Can Xu of China and defended it via a 12th-round stoppage over Michael Conlan but was then halted in the seventh round by Mauricio Lara in February when Wood’s corner threw in the towel after a vicious knockdown. Wood then regained the belt with a unanimous decision over Lara in May. However, Lara came in almost 4 pounds overweight and was stripped of the title before the fight began. Warrington last fought in December when he dropped a majority decision to Luis Alberto Lopez and lost his IBF Title.
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Wood vs Warrington Betting Odds
- Josh Warrington +190
- Leigh Wood -240
The 35-year-old Wood of Nottingham enters the ring with a record of 27-3 with 16 Ko’s. He made his pro debut in 2011 after a good amateur career and has boxed 163 rounds since. He’s also captured the British, British Midlands, Commonwealth Boxing Council, and WBO European Featherweight Titles along the way as a pro. His first loss was a sixth-round TKO at the hands of Gavin McDonnell in 2015 for the vacant British Super Bantamweight title.
Wood’s second defeat came at the hands of James Dickens for the WBO European Featherweight Title in February, 2020 via a 10-round majority decision. His biggest wins have been over Mauricio Lara, Michael Conlan, Can Xu and the likes of Isaac Owusu, Josh Gale, Lee Glover, Ryan Doyle, David Joyce and Reece Mould. Wood has decent power as 59.3 per cent of his wins have come by stoppage including seven of his last eight victories. He stands 5-feet-7-inches tall with a 67-inch wingspan.
The 32-year-old Warrington of Leeds enters the contest with an impressive record of 31-2-1 with 8 Ko’s. The eight stoppages may mean he doesn’t appear to be too much of a threat to Wood but his last two wins have come by way of TKO. However, he’s won just two of his last five fights with two losses and a draw and just 25.8 per cent of his wins have come by stoppage. Warrington first won the IBF title when he beat Lee Selby by split decision in May, 2018 and then defended it against Carl Frampton by unanimous decision in December and Kid Galahad by split decision in June, 2019.
He then stopped Sofiane Takoucht in the second round but gave up the belt as he didn’t want to face Galahad again in a mandatory defence. He faced Mauricio Lara in his next two fights and was stopped in the ninth round in February, 2021 for his first loss as a pro. He faced Lara in a rematch seven months later but the bout was declared a no-decision in the second round when Lara suffered a cut over his left eye from an accidental headbutt. Warrington regained the title in March, 2022 when he halted Kiko Martinez in the seventh round but lost it nine months later to Luis Alberto Lopez via majority decision.
Warrington stands 5-feet-7-inches tall with a 67-inch, the exact same as Wood. He’s boxed 261 rounds since making his pro debut in 2009 following his amateur career. He’s also captured several regional and minor titles since turning pro including the English, British, Commonwealth, European and WBC International Featherweight Titles. He’s fought all of his bouts in his homeland with his most recognizable foes so far being Lopez, Lara, Martinez, Galahad, Frampton, Selby, Patrick Hyland, Rendall Munroe, Martin Lindsay, Hisashi Amagasa and Dennis Ceylan.
Wood surprised a lot of people with his excellent performance against Xu in his first test against an upper-echelon boxer and then replicated it against Conlan by stopping them both in the final round. He was also performing very well against Lara in their first meeting until he got caught cold and was ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the controversial stoppage by his own corner. He has great stamina, carries his power until the late rounds and has an aggressive, hard-punching style. Warrington has also beaten some world-class opponents, likes to let his hands go but lacks the power of Wood. He may have a stronger chin though as he’s been stopped just once while Wood has been halted twice. This is a very even fight and don’t be surprised by any result here. I’m expecting it to go the distance with Wood keeping his belt by a slim margin.
The harder-hitting Wood keeps his belt.
Play: Wood -240 @ BetOnline.ag
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