Wood Vs. Warrington: Date, Start Time & Undercard Info
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says the winner of the October 7th fight between WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington may vacate the belt and move up to 130 to challenge Joe Cordina for his IBF title.
Warrington is coming off a loss to Luis Alberto Lopez last December and not deserving of a world title shot, yet he’s getting one anyway. In other words, Warrington is backing into a title shot off a loss, which makes a mockery of the sport. That’s a WWE move.
Other sports are based on achievement, not business, and you don’t move to the championship game after a loss. In the case of Warrington, he’s failed and is still being put in a world title fight, which cheapens the whole thing.
British fans treated yesterday’s announcement of the Wood-Warrington fight with lukewarm interest. This fight is already tainted, given Warrington’s loss and the circumstances surrounding Wood’s last fight against Mauricio Lara. On top of that, Wood is being permitted to swerve his WBA mandatory Otabek Kholmatov (11-0, 10 KOs).
This guy would be a 100% nightmare for the washed Wood and would likely destroy him & Warrington on the same night, making it look easy. Hence, he’s going to be avoided like the plague by the Wood-Waarrington winner.
There has been a lot of criticism from boxing fans for Wood (27-3, 16 KOs) not fighting Kholmatov next and instead fighting Warrington (31-2-1, 8 KOs) in a business-level fight on October 7th at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.
On why Wood isn’t fighting the Kholmatov:
“What happens is you ask for a special exemption with the WBA. Leigh Wood had just won the WBA title, so it was his first defense,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social. “They put the exemption to the other team, and they have the chance to comment. They didn’t comment.
“So it was decided. I think it would have been granted anyway [by the WBA], but obviously, that helped, and the WBA said, ‘Yes, we want to make big fights, but the winner must fight Kholmatov with no exception,’ so we’ll see what happens. For now, we’re focused on October 7th.
“If the winner of this fight doesn’t fight Kholmatov, then the WBA title will become vacant, and then it will be Raymond Ford against Kholmatov for the world WBA title. That’s another one of our fighters [Ford]. That’s a tremendous fight, by the way. Two great young fighters.
“I think the winner of this fight [Wood vs. Warrington] will move up and fight Joe Cordina [for his IBF super featherweight title]. That’ll be another big fight. It’ll be a chance for the winner to become a two-weight world champion.,” said Hearn.
As Hearn states that the vacated WBA featherweight title would then be fought over by Kholmatov and the Matchroom-promoted Raymond Ford (14-0-1, 7 KOs), who Eddie is confident will beat the Uzbekistan fighter with no problems whatsoever.
Ford came close to losing last year against Edward Vazquez, and in 2021, he was held to an eight round draw by Aaron Perez.
Obviously, Hearn has his blinders and sees only what he wants to because Ford is not the best thing since sliced bread, and he’ll likely lose to Kholmatov without the judges getting a chance to score it.
Obviously, the same confidence isn’t there that Wood or Warrington can beat Kholmatov because the tentative plans are to vacate the WBA title to swerve him.
As I previously mentioned, Kholmatov was supposed to be next in line to challenge Wood for his WBA belt after he captured it in his last fight against Mauricio Lara last May.
Lara was stripped of his WBA before the fight after BBBofC deemed that he was too heavy during the weight check. Fans on social media criticized that move, saying Lara had been robbed of his WBA title before the fight.
With his title stripped, Lara appeared unmotivated and disengaged throughout the fight, not looking interested.