One man sure to be glued to this month’s IBF Featherweight Final Eliminator between Josh Warrington and Dennis Ceylan is current British 9st king Ryan Walsh.
Twelve months back, contesting the vacant EBU strap, the cagey Cromer southpaw conceded a highly contentious 12 round split decision to the unbeaten Ceylan over in Frederikshavn – despite carpeting the Dane in the opening session.
Here, in his own words, Ryan – World rated by both the WBC (8) and WBO (15) – delivers his assessment of the two principals.
“In the build up, Ceylan was very relaxed and respectful, didn’t give it the ‘big ‘un’. Then, on fight night, he started out quite aggressive – fast and long – until I knocked him on his arse. He thought he’d just steam out and ‘do’ me. Suicide! After that, I believe his corner advised him to keep away.
Ceylan’s supposed to have great amateur pedigree – an ex Olympian and WSB fighter. His speed was okay but he didn’t show any of that pedigree against me, not after I hurt him. He had a weird style, fought out of a hunch. He’s certainly no Mikkel Kessler though he has quite a similar style.
We knew beforehand if I didn’t knock him out I couldn’t win over there. I scored a genuine knockdown when I hit his chest – part of the scoring target – but nothing given. Another time, the ref virtually held Dennis up when I wobbled him. You could tell that he knew once he got to the final bell, he’d be given the verdict. He’ll not enjoy those luxuries in Leeds.
At the time, I thought Ceylan was a real tough bastard; very stubborn and steely. He also looked good against Isaac Lowe. (a four round technical draw, five months later)
I think the styles of Warrington and Ceylan should mesh well and it’ll be a competitive fight. I expect Ceylan to offer plenty of resistance early on but he lacks experience. He’s not been in with many top fighters. I’m easily the best he’s fought.
Warrington is every fit and big at the weight. He’s got good energy and does that grab and ‘crab’ thing, similar to Ricky Burns. He throws a few then falls in and clings. Warrington will win a points decision then move on to Selby.”
Chief support on an unmissable evening of action sees Huddersfield’s British Super-Lightweight Champion Tyrone Nurse (35-2-2,7 KOs) make a highly-anticipated defence of his crown against undefeated Chorley star Jack Catterall (18-0, 10 KOs).
Undefeated Midlands Area Super-Featherweight Champion Lyon Woodstock takes on Southern Area Champion Craig Poxton in a guaranteed barn burner.
Undefeated Liverpool Super-Welterweight talent J.J Metcalf (16-0, 8 KOs) takes on Leeds native Damon Jones (15-1, 3 KOs) in an official eliminator for the British title currently held by Warren stablemate Liam Williams.
An action-packed undercard also features British Middleweight Champion Tommy Langford (18-1, 6 KOs); former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and GB squad standout Sam Maxwell (Super-Lightweight, 3-0, 2 KOs); Bradford Welterweight Darren Tetley (14-0, 5KOs); Chapel-en-le-Frith Cruiserweight Jack Massey (12-0, 6 KOs); Doncaster Featherweight Reece Mould (6-0, 2 KOs); Leeds Flyweight Jack Bateson (1-0, 1 KO) and the professional debut of Leeds fighter Jack Daniels.
Tickets for Warrington v Ceylan priced at £30 (Upper Tier), £40 (Lower Tier), £60 (Floor), £100 (Floor), £120 (Floor) and £200 (VIP/Hospitality) are available from First Direct Arena www.firstdirectarena.com