Warrington seeks Selby showdown after Amagasa, Algieri faces Spence Jr
Lee Gormley | April 14, 2016
Josh Warrington v Hisashi Amagasa
- WBC international featherweight title fight
- Saturday, April 16th
- Scheduled for: 22:00 BST
- First Direct Arena, Leeds
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Leeds’ finest Warrington faces Amagasa
After outclassing both Dennis Tubieron and Joel Brunker at the First Direct Arena last year, Leeds fighter Josh Warrington returns to the scene of his recent success to defend his WBC international featherweight strap against Japanese challenger Hisashi Amagasa on Saturday night.
Warrington (22-0, 4 KOs) claimed his current international belt by outpointing Filipino Tubieron in April last year and now seeks to successfully retain it for a second time exactly 12 months on in his hometown.
The undefeated Yorkshireman is keen to make a strong statement in front of his home crowd and edge closer to a shot at British rival and current IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby, with the 25-year-old the odds-on 1/6 favourite from Coral to overcome Amagasa (30-5-2, 20 KOs).
Firing Selby warning against Amagasa
Unbeaten Warrington is targeting a world title showdown with Welshman Selby at Leeds United’s home ground Elland Road in the near future, and wants to prove he can compete with the best, starting this weekend.
“I need to beat Amagasa to prove I am a serious threat to Lee Selby and not that he is fighting me because I am a ticket seller,” he said.
“This is the fight I need to show people that I can go to the next level, and if we move on to Elland Road I want a full house and I want to have the critics on board.
“A lot of my critics are saying this is a tough fight for me but if I can come through this then you are looking at Josh Warrington versus Lee Selby as a 50-50.”
Amagasa a threat?
Japanese contender Amagasa floored heavily avoided Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux twice before an eventual defeat in December 2014, and the 30-year-old Tokyo fighter is 4/1 to cause an upset on his visit to West Yorkshire, though Warrington is confident of toppling what he claims is a solid opponent.
“If I win people can’t say I don’t deserve the shot,” he added. “Selby is a world champion and he beat somebody who had the belt to win it, but I think Amagasa is better than Evgeny Gradovich. He is a real tough fighter and if I win I deserve a shot at Lee Selby at Elland Road.”
A potential world title clash with Barry-born IBF champion Selby looms large for Warrington, but the Leeds fighter must first get past gritty challenger Amagasa in front of his home fans this Saturday night.
Errol Spence Jr v Chris Algieri
- IBF welterweight title eliminator
- Sunday, April 17th
- Scheduled for: 04:00 BST
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
- Live on BoxNation
Spence Jr and Algieri collide in Brooklyn
Undefeated welterweight prospect Errol Spence Jr faces his toughest career test to date this weekend as he meets former world champion Chris Algieri in New York for an IBF title eliminator.
The winner of this Brooklyn brawl is set to earn a shot at Kell Brook’s 147-pounds strap further down the line, unless the Sheffield champion vacates it beforehand, with Spence Jr (19-0, 16 KOs) targeting a maiden opportunity, while Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) attempts to reign in another division.
Former American Olympian Spence Jr believes he was primed and ready for a world title bout two fights ago and is the odds-on 1/16 favourite for his latest outing, as he aims to topple former kickboxing world champion Algieri.
“Saturday night is going to be a great performance,” stated Spence Jr. “I never thought fight week would come. I just need to stick with my game plan.
“It’s going to be a war…”
“The game plan that my coach laid out for me and do what I do and get the win. I’ve always felt like I was ready for this level. Saturday night, I’m looking for a coming out party. I was ready two fights ago to fight for a title.
“After this fight we can talk about what’s next, but right now, Chris Algieri is in front of me. Chris has been in a lot of hard fights. At the end of the day he’s a boxer and so am I. It’s going to be a war.”
The 26-year-old welterweight talent has stopped his last six opponents, including all of Samuel Vargas, Phil Lo Greco, Chris van Heerden and Alejandro Barrera in 2015 alone, though Algieri poses a much sterner challenger.
Algieri aims for home supremacy
Fighting in front of his home fans in New York, 32-year-old Algieri will look to add to his unanimous decision triumph over Ecuadorian Erick Bone last December and is 8/1 to come out on top in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Spence is a guy people don’t want to fight, so they brought him to me,” said Algieri.
“The best thing about working with John David Jackson is the confidence he gives me. He let’s me be who I am. He gives me the faith to trust in my abilities. I’m looking forward to putting on another great display with him in my corner.”
The former WBO light-welterwight champion has never been stopped in his professional career and has tasted defeat on just two occasions, taking recently retired Manny Pacquiao 12 rounds in 2014 and losing out to Britain’s Amir Khan last May.
He will seek to halt the promising career surge of Spence Jr on home soil but, if ‘the Truth’ can become only the second man after ‘Pacman’ to really dominate his opponent or hand him a maiden stoppage loss, his prospects will be boosted further as a deserved world title shot beckons.