Josh Warrington is happy to be a homeboy for life having spent his early career years on the road.
He’s now used to selling out First Direct Arena in his home city Leeds, and it will be packed to the rafters again when he face Dennis Ceylan in an IBF featherweight title final eliminator on October 21, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
Promoter Frank Warren insists that next summer unbeaten Warrington will box outdoors at Elland Road, home of his beloved Leeds United.
Warrington believes his popularity has made some rivals envious of him, but points out that he boxed in Leeds just once in the first three years of his professional career.
“Some fella asked me on Facebook the other day, ‘Why do you always box in Leeds?’” said 26-year-old Warrington.
“In the first few years of my career I won two titles away from home, sometimes boxed last when people were sweeping up the venues and now I get this chance to box at home.
“It is special and walking out in front of all those people, there is no feeling like it. That hasn’t always been the case.
“It has been a long journey getting there, a lot of hard work and I have had to go in people’s backyards and fight them at short notice.
“Now because there are so many supporters who want to follow the journey it doesn’t make business sense for Frank Warren to have me boxing elsewhere.
“What is the point of putting me on in Sheffield or Manchester when Leeds Arena is on the doorstep?”
If the Yorkshireman defeats Ceylan who is unbeaten in 20 fights a challenge against world champion Lee Selby will be mandated by the IBF early next year.
Warrington is also taking heart from the Dane’s winning performances against Ryan Walsh and close friend Issac Lowe.
Josh added: “He boxed Ryan Walsh and there was some controversy because it looked like it might have been a hometown decision.
“He then boxed Issac Lowe, but a head clash ended that. I do think Issac was starting to get to him.”
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).
Manchester prospect Zelfa Barrett (18-0, 11 KOs) takes on Chris Conwell (9-2, 2 KOs) for the Vacant English Super-Featherweight title; Leicester starlet Lyon Woodstock (9-0, 5 KOs) takes on Craig Poxton (13-4, 2 KOs) for the Vacant WBO European Super-Featherweight title.
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: First Direct Arena www.firstdirectarena.com 0844 2481585