Fighting For a City: The Gryphon meets Josh Warrington

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Image Credit: [Tim Whitby]

The Gryphon spoke to IBF World Featherweight Boxing Champion, Josh Warrington, about his journey from Leeds estates to a World Title at the premiere for his documentary: Josh Warrington: Fighting For a City.

Just over a month out from his next World Title fight against Carl Frampton, The Gryphon sat down with IBF World Featherweight Champion Josh Warrington and his father and trainer Sean O’Hagan, at the premiere of his documentary Fighting for a City, at the town hall of Warrington’s home city: Leeds.

Josh, this documentary has been two years in the making. How is it going to feel putting this out to a large audience of people?

It’s busy, amongst obviously preparing for the next fight, but it’s exciting at the same time, coming to the end product of what’s been made over two years. I’ve been telling my friends and family that when it comes to light, it’ll be worth the watch. And now they’ve got the chance to see it, so it’s exciting.

When filming started, did you imagine a premiere night like this?

No, not at all. Like I’ve said many times, when you first don boxing gloves you picture big nights, winning world titles and big fights, not turning up to premieres of films. It’s a bit of showbiz, but I could get used to this!

It was such a big night at Elland Road in May, do all the feelings come back watching the documentary, the two-year build-up to that huge night for both yourself and the city?

Yeah definitely. Every time I watch it back a little memory comes back to certain points of that night. Obviously you try to soak it all in, but you forget about certain parts. But when you watch it back, you remember a certain little moment. I’ve said since I put the gloves on that I wanted to put Leeds on the map, and I think being Leeds’ first world champion – a lad that’s just come from an estate and achieved his dreams – hopefully it’ll give the youngsters of the city an ambition that they can do it, and there’s nothing stopping them.

Sean, as father, coach and trainer, you must be so proud of what Josh has achieved over the past two years.

Yes, he’s been fantastic. I’m very proud of him obviously, but I do like those 10 percent’s that I get paid, and little spinoffs – I’ve just got myself a deal with JACAMO apparently, their new model, so I’m extremely proud.

December 22nd is looming, how are preparations going for the next fight against Carl Frampton?

Sean: I’m not going to give anything away. All I’ll say is that I still wish Carl a Merry Christmas, but on the 22nd, he’s having it.

Josh: Preparation’s going really well and once again it feels like our backs are against the walls. We’re a massive underdog going into this, even though I’m the World Champion, but like I’ve said, the best Josh Warrington is still to come. I got out of the ring against Lee Selby thinking, knowing, that I didn’t get out of second gear, and as soon as I went into the changing rooms after I was saying “Who’s next?”. So, I’m ready to take on the world.

Josh, after May’s result, so much momentum has gathered behind you. Are you still riding this momentum going into the Frampton fight?

Most definitely; a confident fighter is a dangerous fighter. I definitely take a lot from that, so confidence is riding high and Carl’s not going to stop me, and he’s not going to spoil my year.

Josh, Sean, thank you very much for your time.

Our pleasure.

‘Josh Warrington: Fighting For A City’ is on DVD and digital download from 26 November.

Jonathan Burnett