Josh Warrington defends his IBF featherweight title against mandatory challenger Kid Galahad on June 15, 2019 at the Leeds Arena in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds, England.
The Leeds Warrior
Warrington won the IBF featherweight title with an upset win over the highly touted Lee Selby in May 2018. He then followed that up with a sensational 12-round decision victory over former world champion Carl Frampton. Warrington was supposed to make his mandatory defense on May 4 in Leeds but they had to move the fight because he was still recovering from a minor hand injury.
The 28 year old Warrington, known as the “Leeds Warrior”, is unbeaten in 28 fights with only 6 knockouts. He stands 5-7 tall with a reach of 67 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. Warrington is fresh off the two biggest wins of his professional boxing career after he defeated Selby and Frampton in succession.
As his record shows, Warrington isn’t a knockout artist. But what he lacks in power, he makes up for in terms of punch output and work volume. He’s a very aggressive fighter who likes to push the pace of a fight. He also has the ability to walk through punches because he has a durable chin. Get our boxing betting tips here.
Odds from Bovada as of 4/13/19
The Mandatory Challenger
Galahad earned his right to challenge Warrington by winning a final title eliminator against Toka Kahn Clary last October in Boston. While waiting for his title shot, Galahad took a stay-busy fight versus Brayan Mairena last December. Galahad and Warrington fought before as amateurs and Warrington got the better of Galahad back then.
The 29 year old Galahad’s real name is Abdul-Bari Awad. He was born to Yemeni parents in Qatar but ended up in Sheffield with Brandon Ingle. It was Ingle who christened him as Kid Galahad. He has a record of 26-0 with 15 knockouts and stands 5-6 ½ with an undisclosed reach. Galahad is also an orthodox fighter. He served a shortened two-year ban in 2014 for a failed drug test.
Galahad was one of the U.K.’s hottest prospects when he was suspended. He is an excellent boxer with decent punching power. He fights with an awkward style that makes him a difficult read for opponents. He is also a very good counter puncher who can put on a boxing clinic.
Underestimating The Opponent
Warrington is such an overachiever. When he fought Dennis Ceylan for the IBF final title eliminator, many thought that the Leeds warrior would lose to the undefeated EBU European champion. But Warrington ended up with a10th round TKO wins over Ceylan. And then he fought Selby, and even I thought that he was biting more than what he could chew. But Warrington entered the rind, outworked Selby for 12 rounds and took the title away from the Welsh Mayweather. Then in his most recent bout, Warrington outpointed Carl Frampton in the biggest win of his career.
Galahad cannot claim a victory over a fighter in the same level as Ceylan, Selby and Frampton. But he is not a walk in the park. Before his drug suspension, Galahad was one of Britain’s top prospects. He looked like a special talent with his smarts and awkward style. Sure, the ban has tainted his image but the way he worked his way back to the top shows his determination and well of course, his boxing ability.
A lot of people are doubting Galahad now they way many did when Warrington fought Selby and then Frampton next. So I don’t think Warrington is going to leave anything unturned here. He knows how it is to be in Galahad’s position and he knows he cannot underestimate his opponent.
This will be a battle between Kid Galahad’s slick and awkward boxing style against Warrington’s high volume motor. The champion will employ a fast pace, be aggressive and throw plenty of punches while eating some in return. Galahad will try to counter and do his best not to allow Warrington to pile up the points. He doesn’t need to throw as many punches, he just has to be accurate with his counters so he can at least slow Warrington down.
If Galahad can stop Warrington from being Warrington, he has the skills to outbox the champion. If not, he will be forced to fight fire with fire and I don’t think he can keep up with Warrington for a full 12-rounds. If Warrington has his way, it’s going to be another victory for the Leeds Warrior.
Another factor going Warrington’s way is the fact that this bout will be held in his hometown. We saw how Ellan Road cheered him on against Lee Selby. We know how that probably pushed him to do more than what was expected. You can expect Warrington to feed off the full house crowd at the First Direct Arena on June 15th.
This has the makings of an exciting fight and I think Galahad will prove his worth here. But I think this goes down to Warrington’s output. The kid throws punches like hell and doesn’t stop until that bell rings. Unless Galahad can hurt him early, Josh Warrington is going to swarm him all night long. I think Josh Warrington walks away with another successful title defense here.
Prediction: Josh Warrington by unanimous decision