Josh Warrington says he is unlikely to face Carl Frampton next and would rather make his first world title defence in Leeds.
The newly-crowned IBF featherweight world champion has been linked with a showdown with Frampton, whose Belfast homecoming is confirmed for early August.
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Former holder Lee Selby was the expected opponent for Frampton, but with Warrington producing the performance of his career to win on points at Elland Road on Saturday, the Leeds United fan would rather fight at the First Direct Arena before taking on ‘The Jackal’ later in the year.
When asked by Sky Sports if he would meet Frampton next, he said: “Probably not. I’ve just been through an 18-week camp and left the missus on her own for most of the time.
“I am a fighter and big fights like that attract me. I will speak with Steve (Wood) and Frank (Warren) and see what happens. But you’ve got to rest yourself not just physically but mentally as well. It’s hard work when you’re in the gym six days a week. You’ve got yourself up for the sessions and you’ve got to get up to 100 per cent.
“I always kill my body, so it’s just hard to get up and get out of bed and hit 100 per cent again. That takes a toll on you mentally, never mind all the media coverage and building up the fight.
“If I’ve got an option, or a chance, I’d rather have the time to be the best Josh Warrington I can be, rather than just slugging it out, because it’s what everyone else wants.
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“But now I am at this level, there are now big, appetising fights, and the division is red-hot, and obviously I want to be part of those big fights and nights.
“Summer time is obviously the best time for a stadium fight, and Saturday night’s weather was perfect and just made the day. Maybe if there was somewhere big enough to have it further down the year, maybe in December, and prior to this, I did say if I get through this one, I’d like to defend it at the Arena.”
Warrington reflects on his world-title winning performance against Selby
Warrington, who moved to 27-0-KO6 with a split decision win over Selby, was walked to the ring by the band Kaiser Chiefs and former Leeds United captain, Lucas Radebe.
The ‘Leeds Warrior’ admits he was too focused to take in the unique atmosphere, but with eight out of his previous nine fights being at the Arena, is already looking to bring another big name in with him.
He said: “I’ve always said there were two I would pick, David Batty or Lucas Radebe, so Radebe has been done now so he’s next. Let’s see if we can get him out of hiding and get him down the Arena.
“I knew I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the ringwalk, with Radebe and the Kaisers, it would only be pictures and videos afterwards, when I would really watch it with excitement.
“But on the night, for the fans, it added to it. It got them right up for it; even though they were up for it, it took them to the next level.
“I just knew I’d have to look for pictures, because I knew I had to stay focused. I had the small matter of a 12-round world-title fight.
“But he just said: ‘This is your time. Take this day, you have to take your opportunities when you can and just give absolutely everything you’ve got.’
“After the fight, he couldn’t stop talking though! He enjoyed it so much, he kept telling me.”
Watch Jamie McDonnell, in Tokyo, on Friday, May 25, from 1pm, live on Sky Sports Action before Kal Yafai takes on David Carmona in the early hours of Sunday morning, from 2.30am, on Sky Sports Action.