Exclusive: Ryan Walsh praises Josh Warrington performance, open to world title clash

Chandler Waller 02/06/2018

Ryan Walsh has applauded Josh Warrington’s ‘improvement’ following his great win over Lee Selby and holds a desire for the pair to finally meet in the future. 

Warrington surpassed expectations and proved people wrong when he defeated Lee Selby for the IBF featherweight title, undoing all the good work the former champion had put in.

Coasting his way comfortably to a points decision, Warrington showed he belongs with the top dogs at 126 pounds.

Walsh reflected on the win, in an exclusive interview with World Boxing News this week.

“I knew Lee Selby was pushing the limit to make that weight, I’m not giving him an excuse for his performance because I think Warrington boxed out of his skin,” Walsh told WBN.

“Even Selby at his best would have done well to beat Warrington, that’s the best we’ve seen from him.

Now 27-0 [6 KOs] and a world champion, Warrington is in the limelight and a tough challenge for any featherweight.

Continuing his review of the action, Walsh stated he’s seen a massive improvement in the Leeds man.

“He’ll be hard to beat for any of the challengers. He’s improved massively in my eyes and after watching that he impressed me to maintain that power.

“He has always been a big kid but he showed signs of strength and he looked like he might have hurt Selby in there.

“That title puts him in there with a chance to beat anyone, he can take a lot of the top boys because he reminds us he’s got a fast head, high guard and fights with a really good energy.”

The hard work has seemed to pay off as Warrington could finally call himself a world champion after his victory at Elland Road on May 19th. The journey of Warrington is known well  to Walsh.

“He’s made a career of being so effective, he’s so good with his defence and a hard-working lad so fair play to him.”

Asked if he is looking for a future shot Warrington, Walsh added: “Yeah, my brothers and myself are hoping.

“Me and Warrington have got more history than most fighters because the last few years it had been a case of ‘how not, why not?’

“I was made his mandatory a long time ago and they tried to give me three weeks notice, a bump job. I was over 10 stone, I just couldn’t make the weight correctly.

“I thought after fighting Selby I deserved a little bit more time to train than that.”

Walsh believed Warrington wanted an advantage by giving him less time to prepare.

“When I was made his mandatory, they proved that he didn’t want to fight me because he vacated straight away.

“He wanted to try and get every advantage by throwing me a fight on short notice, giving me no time to prepare, any championship fight you probably need 10 weeks.

“I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs but I can definitely put on a good stone and that’s too much to shift on that notice, it wasn’t good enough.

“It’s a process which takes 10 weeks and that’s the minimum I think that any fighter deserves for the British title.”

The current British champion has a record of 22-2-2 [11 KOs] and revealed he had opportunities to fight Warrington and Carl Frampton but deems himself as being overlooked.

“Warren tried to get me in with both Warrington and Frampton and I agreed to both fights last July and funnily enough I was widely avoided.

“Both of their requirements were sub-par to what I would have brought to them fights because those are the fights you’ve got to get up for, neither man can knock me out and I love a good fight.

“I don’t ever expect anyone at featherweight to put me down, Warrington’s not know for that and I’m never going to give up so I know it would be a good hard fight.

“They can’t knock me so its as simple as that,” said Walsh.

Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller