On Saturday, June 15, IBF Featherweight champion Josh Warrington (28-0, 6KOs) will finally clash with bitter rival Kid Galahad (26-0, 15KOs) at First Direct Arena in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds in West Yorkshire. These two hate each other and it should be a very entertaining fight. The clever, relentless Warrington against the technically sound, “sweet science” embracing Galahad. Expect fireworks. This should be one of the best domestic British fights of the year.
Josh Warrington last fought in December of last year against Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (26-2 15KOs) in what turned out to be one of the best fights of the year. Warrington was an underdog in the fight, but everyone knew the ferocity he brought to the table. He was relentless from the opening bell. He smothered Frampton, who is also known to be very technically sound, very good at controlling the distance, usually outboxing his opponents. Warrington is more known for his relentless style, high pressure fighter, very high ring IQ, very clever with his angles, with how he approaches his opponent. This is a true 50/50 fight, a clash of opposite styles – the intelligent high pressure fighter vs the switch-hitting/slick boxer. Warrington has the better resume, better experience, but Galahad slightly has him in overall skill. Warrington proved he could overcome that against Frampton who most people would put way above Galahad.
Kid Galahad is coming off a win against Brayan Mairena (10-11-1, 4KOs) in December. It was an obvious terrible opponent as far as top level boxing standards goes but he is a domestic British fighter, never having crossed the pond, so tune ups over there are a bit different when you have not hit the world championship boxing level. Do not let that fool you though. Before that fight, in October, Galahad fought American boxer, Toka Kahn Clary (26-2, 18KOs), who is a bit more of a respectable opponent and defeated him via unanimous decision. Galahad is a very slick boxer. He is patient, a good counter puncher, and very much about the “sweet science” – hit and not get hit. Warrington will be his toughest opponent to date by far. Off topic a bit – Galahad is known for failing a drug test in 2014 for the steroid Stanozolol. He was banned for 2 years but it was reduced to 18 months following an appeal to UK Anti-Doping. He is enrolled in VADA and any worry about him coming into the fight “dirty” should be curbed.
Keys to Victor for Joshua Warrington:
- Smother Galahad, use relentless pressure from opening bell. Warrington used this same relentless style against Frampton who is also very technically sound and did not let up. This is his biggest strength. Come forward intelligently, get in close, do not allow Galahad to get off clean counters.
- Use creative angles. Galahad is a tricky boxer. Warrington has to be creative with the angles he uses, throwing short combinations, using his speed inside to counter Galahad’s slick footwork and movement. Go to the body, mix in uppercuts and short/hard punches. Warrington hits much harder than his record suggests, and this should work in his favor.
- Turn it into a brawl. These guys do not like each other at all. If Warrington can turn the fight into a rough and tumble type of fight, not a brawl in the sloppy sense, but a well educated gritty fight, then he should get the victory. Keep it inside, don’t allow Galahad to control distance, force him into a fire fight.
Keys to Victory for Kid Galahad:
- Use lots of movement. Galahad does not want to get into a fire fight with Warrington. He wants to turn this into a technical boxing match, taking away all of Warrington’s main advantages. He cannot be a stationary target. Galahad is a switch hitter, so he can keep moving to either side, and attempt to keep Warrington off balance.
- Go to the body. Warrington has a solid chin, and even better stamina. Galahad needs to go to the body early and often. He will need to slow down Warrington, if he wants breathing room in the late stages of this fight.
- Establish the jab and control the distance. There’s a good chance Galahad will be fighting off his back foot most of the fight. So it is important that he establishes the jab early, and follows through right down the middle with straight counters. If he can find a rhythm and good timing early, he may be able to frustrate Warrington enough to make him rethink his strategy and steal important rounds.
- Use short hooks and uppercuts. Lets assume that Galahad cannot keep Warrington off of him. If this turns into somewhat of a fire fight, he needs to at least keep Warrington honest. Use quick sharp punches in close range, that pack some power. Use the lead hook and come around with short, crisp uppercut. If Warrington is successful in making it a gritty brawl, these weapons should give Galahad a chance to at least keep it competitive.
This is truly an interesting fight. I am really on the fence with this one. I’m leaning towards Warrington because he has been an underdog in his last two fights and he has proven everyone wrong and come through with the victory. He had Frampton hurt multiple times in their fight, despite just having 6 KOs on his record. He might not be the most technically gifted boxer but he makes up for it with his high boxing IQ, heart and relentless style. Galahad hates Warrington and has said he is desperate to win. A man like that can be quite dangerous, and I’m sure Warrington is not looking past him. I see this being a very close fight, with Warrington edging it out in a very close decision. Prediction: Warrington by UD
The fight will be aired in America live on ESPN+. It will be shown on BT Sport in the UK. Fight coverage will begin at 3 P.M. EST, the main card should start around 5 P.M. EST.