Josh Warrington defends IBF featherweight title with split-decision win over Kid Galahad

LEEDS, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Josh Warrington reacts after winning the IBF World Featherweight Title fight between Josh Warrington and Kid Galahad at First Direct Arena on June 15, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Image: Josh Warrington celebrates in front of his hometown fans in Leeds

Josh Warrington defeated Kid Galahad via a split decision to successfully defend his IBF world featherweight title for a second time.

Warrington claimed victory in front of his hometown fans in Leeds, after a close and physical contest at the First Direct Arena, via scores of 116-113 and 115-112 with Howard Foster favouring Galahad by 115-113.

Galahad used his elusive movement to avoid many of Warrington's punches but the champion upped his work-rate in the later rounds to hand his Sheffield rival his first defeat in 27 contests.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Josh Warrington (R) in action with Kid Galahad during the IBF World Featherweight Title fight between Josh Warrington and Kid Galahad at First Direct Arena on June 15, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Image: Warrington catches Kid Galahad with a right hand

"I knew it were close but you can't come to a champion's backyard and win the title by fighting like that," said Warrington.

"He was clever with the way he was fighting. I put myself under a lot of pressure, I was tense and I got carried away with it all."

The mandatory challenger switched stances from the opening round and enjoyed success with his fast hands.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Josh Warrington (L) in action with Kid Galahad during the IBF World Featherweight Title fight between Josh Warrington and Kid Galahad at First Direct Arena on June 15, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Image: Galahad lands a counter left-hook to the champion's head

Warrington finished the second round strongly by landing a combination and backed up his opponent in the next by connecting with two straight lefts.

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The 'Leeds Warrior' roused his fans in the fifth round when he briefly rocked Galahad after landing a right.

The pair traded rounds and Warrington started to edge ahead before hurting his former amateur rival in the 10th with a left to the head.

Galahad battled to the final bell but the champion's continual pressure secured him the narrow victory to follow up his two wins over his rival in the amateur ranks.

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