Boxing

Warrington vows to never return for second boxing stint like Nigel Benn

Josh Warrington is determined to retire with no regrets, claiming he would never want to come back like Nigel Benn.

Benn, 55, is returning for one final fight next month after 23 years out of the ring with the former two-weight world champion saying he needs closure.

But Warrington insists he will never end up like that and intends to achieve all he can at his peak.

The unbeaten IBF featherweight king faces Frenchman Sofiane Takoucht on Saturday and said: “It’s about doing stuff so you can rest easy with when you’re done.

“I don’t want to be doing a Nigel Benn at 55 to get closure. When I retire, I want to know I did everything I could in my prime.


“I want to go to my grave knowing that I boxed the best and took the biggest fights.

“I don’t want to get to the end of my career and think what if?”

Warrington, 28, had hoped his next fight would be a unification clash in the US and facing the unheralded Takoucht back at Leeds’ First Direct Arena feels like an anti-climax.

But the Leeds fighter insists he is still motivated because promoter Frank Warren is working on delivering him WBC champ Gary Russell Junior at his beloved Elland Road in the spring.

“I boxed Lee Selby at Elland Road, which was a massive night, and a unification fight with him would be even bigger,” said Warrington.


“It’s not often we have big unification fights over here, so it would be a fantastic spectacle for British boxing.

“A lot of people have said to me ‘who’s this guy you’re fighting? He’s a nobody’. He’s not a nobody. He was a European champion and he’s ranked four by the IBF.

“I’ve been in the game long enough to know you can’t take anyone lightly. At the end of the day, I’ve got what he wants. If I want to keep on progressing and fight the likes of Gary Russell Junior, I’ve got to win these fights.”

Warrington gave 50 tickets for Saturday’s fight to 6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps during a visit to their Dishforth barracks last week and admits he considered joining the army as a teenager.

“I did think about signing up to the Royal Marines,” he said. “But my old man said ‘give this boxing a go and if it doesn’t work out, you can join up’ and the rest is history.”

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