In front of a 20,000 plus crowd at his beloved Elland Road, Josh Warrington came out to I Predict a Riot, Something in the Air might have been more appropriate, as there was a feeling that Warrington would not be denied, and he wasn’t.
Lacking the power to keep a rampant challenger off him, Selby struggled at times as Warrington bullied him, especially early in a thoroughly absorbing contest.
Warrington nicked the opening round, he won the 2nd more clearly and Selby’s night got harder thanks to an accidental head clash which opened the first of his cuts. After that at least on my card despite a valiant effort to keep his IBF featherweight title, Selby couldn’t get his nose in front.
In a closely fought contest, most of the rounds were close, hard to score, one of those fights were it was a case of what you prefer, and a different view of who won was always likely.
Selby at times boxed superbly, getting into the trenches when he needed, or perhaps more accurately because he had to, and while I thought he drew level on the cards, I never at any point in the fight had him at front.
The ‘Welsh Mayweather’ couldn’t keep his fired up challenger off him enough to get the win, Warrington rarely allowed him the space he needed.
Warrington simply wouldn’t be denied his moment of glory, and Selby in front of a hostile crowd I sensed knew it would not be his night, but he never once stopped trying.
At the end of 12 fantastic rounds I had it level, 114-114, but Warrington I just thought would get the nod and he did by way of a split decision with scores of 116-112 115-113 113-115.
Warrington defied the odds, and can look forward to a massive fight with Carl Frampton which is a truly mouth watering prospect, Frampton now knows he will be in for one hell of a tough night, there will be no 4-1 odds in that fight.
Selby drops to 26-2, while Warrington remained unbeaten and improved his record to 27-0.