Anthony Joshua called Josh Warrington to deliver inspiring speech – 'we have similarities'

"I asked him about dwelling on a fight, the mindset, and how to come back," says Josh Warrington about Anthony Joshua; Josh Kelly faces David Avanesyan in an intriguing fight on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports

Warrington 2:39
Josh Warrington reveals his 'honest chat' with Anthony Joshua

Josh Warrington has revealed how Anthony Joshua has "made things clearer" after they shared a heart-to-heart about bouncing back from shock defeats.

Warrington lost his unbeaten record via a brutal knockout to Mauricio Lara last weekend - Joshua, of course, was also the victim of a Mexican underdog in Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.

"I mentioned to [promoter Eddie Hearn] that I wouldn't mind a chat with him, if he had two minutes," Warrington told Sky Sports News. "He gave me far more than two minutes, the great guy that he is.

Watch Mauricio Lara KO Josh Warrington

"We were talking about setbacks. Obviously, I have a big profile but he's the heavyweight champion of the world.

"I asked him about dwelling on a fight, the mindset, and how to come back.

"He gave me his honest opinion from his experience, and how I could potentially learn from his way.

"I appreciate his time and his honesty.

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"After speaking to him, I feel like I've gone on a 15-mile run! He's a very good talker."

Ruiz vs Joshua
Image: Joshua was shockingly beaten by Ruiz Jr
Joshua vs Ruiz
Image: Joshua avenged his loss six months later

Warrington had vacated his IBF featherweight title after negotiations to face fellow champion Can Xu in a unification fight fell through for a second time earlier this year.

He is now taking inspiration from Joshua's decision to avenge his shock defeat - the world heavyweight championship was recaptured from Ruiz Jr just six months after it was lost.

"People were saying he was silly to do so," Warrington said. "They said: 'Don't do that, look at easier options'.

"But we're fighters and we have certain emotions that we have to deal with.

"He knew exactly what I was saying. I knew exactly what he was saying.

"When I said I wanted the rematch, he knew. He knew that I need to get those demons and squash them.

"We have similarities in that sense. That's why I wanted to speak to him.

"It has made things clearer.

"Since speaking to him, it has backed up the things that I was thinking.

"I'd like the rematch. It's no good me going into any other fight and leaving this guy behind.

"For my own demons and my own mindset, I need to conquer this."

Josh Warrington
Pundits Johnny Nelson and Adam Booth agree that Warrington should have been stopped by the referee

Warrington admitted he was "a little bit overlooking" Lara - he was knocked down for the first time in his career in the fourth round, before a sustained beating culminated in a vicious KO in the ninth.

Sky Sports' ringside pundits Johnny Nelson and Adam Booth claimed Warrington should have been pulled out before he was eventually knocked out.

But Warrington has now defended the decision of his corner, led by his trainer and father Sean O'Hagan, and the referee, Howard Foster, to let him continue.

"My cornerman is my dad and he will look after my health and safety, not only because I'm his fighter but also because I'm his son," he said.

"He knows what I'm capable of taking.

Josh Kelly 2:18
Josh Kelly has called for David Avanesyan to pressure him

"If it got worse I'm certain he would have pulled me out. But while I was making eye contact with him, listening and responding to his questions, he saw no reason to pull me out.

"If I was stuttering, slurring, not keeping eye contact, I'm sure he would have pulled me out. But I gave him all the right signs."

Warrington added about the referee: "Howard has seen me fight many times, refereed my fights, judged my fights, he knows I'm one of the fittest in the game, he knew it was still early on. He gave me the opportunity and I'm thankful for that.

"I was hurt but still had my senses and my awareness. I knew that if I took one clean on the chin, I might be gone again. But I could see what he was doing - it was a case of surviving the round."

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