Warrington vs Takoucht Preview
by Danny Gilfillan
Josh Warrington (29-0) will make the third defence of his IBF world featherweight title as he takes on the somewhat unknown Sofiane Takoucht (35-3-1) tonight in Leeds.
It is, on paper, a bit of a damp squib. Takoucht’s 3 defeats have come well below world level, and despite being ranked #4 by the IBF, there is very little to suggest he belongs in the same ring as Warrington, let alone threaten to unseat him as world champion.
However, at a time when boxers are lambasted for tick over fights of this ilk, Warrington is perhaps a man who should be forgiven on this occasion. His wins over Kid Galahad, Carl Frampton and Lee Selby in the past 18 months dwarf the accomplishments of any other British fighter in that time frame.
Warrington can be allowed this tune up as he looks to a mammoth stateside unification in 2020, with Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr and Oscar Valdez all heavily touted as opponents.
So, what of Sofiane Takoucht? He’s experienced, if nothing else; in a 16-year career he’s had 39 fights, winning 35 of those – albeit at a level light years away from what he’s tasked with on Saturday night. Of those 35 wins, only 13 have come by knockout, so you suspect there won’t be much to deter Warrington from walking his man down in trademark fashion.
Despite not being a massive puncher himself, Warrington will hope to give the Leeds faithful something to shout about and get the stoppage. His last bout against Kid Galahad, also in his hometown, proved an underwhelming affair with some adjudging ‘The Warrior’ to be fortunate to hold onto his title.
This is boxing however and there is always the chance, remote as it may be, that Takoucht could spring an upset. In all likelihood though, this should prove a comfortable night’s work for Warrington as he looks to bigger and better things next year.