Josh Warrington must wait for world title unification clash against Can Xu
"I do believe we were at the stage where we were about to announce a fight and a date"
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 23/03/20 5:27pm
Josh Warrington was set to announce a world title unification clash against Can Xu, but still hopes his homecoming fight can be rescheduled.
The IBF featherweight champion has linked up again with promoter Eddie Hearn, who confirmed he had 'agreed terms' for Warrington to face rival champion Xu, with the WBA 'super' title also at stake this summer at Headingley, the home of Leeds Rhinos.
But ambitious plans for the Yorkshireman have been put on hold due to coronavirus and the British Boxing Board of Control have now extended their suspension on boxing tournaments until the end of April.
"I do believe we were at the stage where we were about to announce a fight and a date," Warrington told Sky Sports News. "We talked about going to Headingley for a unification fight, so I'm hoping that can still happen.
"I know that Headingley were going to be flexible with the dates, so hopefully when all this blows over, we can get a fight date sorted later in the year.
"It's what I've been screaming for the last few years. From winning the world title and defending it against some of the world's best. I'm desperate to win another belt. You wrack your brains, you just keep training and plugging away, and you're at a stage when it's about to announce, and all of a sudden, it's gets ripped under your feet.
"It's a little bit frustrating, but I've had a little sulk, had a little bit of a moan, but I can't get too worked up, because a lot of people are in worse off situations, worse off scenarios than myself."
Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn revealed that he reached a deal with Xu on an Instagram live with Warrington, saying: "We have agreed terms with Can Xu to have that big fight for you in the summer, hopefully. WBA 'super' title hopefully on the line. IBF title, probably Ring Magazine belt."
Warrington must also fit another IBF mandatory title defence against Kid Galahad into his uncertain schedule after grinding out a points win over the Sheffield man last June, but insists that unification clashes are his main priority.
"I just want to be part of entertaining fights," said Warrington. "For me, once you've ticked a box, then you normally move forward with your career. You don't want to be going over old ground, especially with the facts that fight wasn't the most entertaining of fights.
"Listen, if I have to fight him again, I have to fight him again, that's the IBF's rulings, but like I say, at this moment in time, all I want to do is win another belt and be part of fights that people remember."