Josh Warrington will face undefeated Dane Dennis Ceylan in a mandated Final Eliminator for the IBF Featherweight World title at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Saturday 21st October, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
Leeds hero Warrington (25-0, 5 KOs) is within touching distance of forcing a dream World title showdown with bitter rival Lee Selby after the Welshman declined a substantial offer from Frank Warren to defend his crown against the current WBC International belt holder.
Multiple Featherweight Champion Warrington outpointed former World Champion Kiko Martinez last time out at his hometown fortress and is determined to secure a blockbuster Elland Road World title showdown against Selby by overcoming the dangerous Ceylan.
Former European Champion Ceylan (18-0-2, 8 KOs) has his sights firmly set on World title honours but must overcome his toughest career challenge to date in the undefeated Warrington if he is to set-up a clash with Selby.
Although fighting for the first time on British soil as a professional, the 28-year-old Ceylan is no stranger to fighting British boxers having previously shared the ring with undefeated former Commonwealth Champion Isaac Lowe and British Champion Ryan Walsh.
“This is a proper fight and one that I am massively up for,” said Warrington. “Ceylan is an undefeated former European Champion but that doesn’t matter to me. The way I see it is that he’s the one I have to beat to make myself the mandatory challenger. This won’t be an easy fight but there are no easy fights at this level and with so much a stake.
“With Selby not taking a fight with me, it’s left me annoyed and even more hungry to produce a massive performance on October 21. You’re going to see the best ever version of Josh Warrington against Ceylan. Like I keep saying, the fight with Selby is the one I have always wanted, let’s see if he is still the Champion when I’m the mandatory challenger.
“It’s going to be another huge night of boxing for the city of Leeds. The buzz around the place is crazy at the moment, they are craving for a World Champion and once I beat Ceylan I’ll be a step closer to delivering what they want.”
“Josh Warrington is a good technical fighter,” said Ceylan. “I look forward to testing my skills against him. He is a top-level opponent and I know I will have to be at my best to beat him.
‘’I always enjoy fighting British opponents. British guys are always very good, and when I fight good opponents, it brings out the best in me. I think Josh might be my toughest opponent to date so I will need to be on top of my game.
‘’My last fight was against another English guy, Isaac Lowe. He wasn’t as a good as Josh. He was more of a street type guy who just wanted to fight. Josh is more of a clever, technical fighter so it will be a different challenge and a more difficult fight.
‘’I’m really looking forward to fighting in the UK. I’ve watched some of Josh’s fights and Leeds looks like an awesome place. He’s always got a lot of fans behind him, which is going to make for a great atmosphere. I can’t wait to experience it.
‘’My dream has always been to fight for a World title, and now, I’m only one fight away, and that gives me all the motivation I need to beat this guy. I wouldn’t have taken the fight if I wasn’t confident of winning. After I beat Josh, I’ll be ready for Lee Selby. I’m training hard and I will be at my very best on October 21.’’
Frank Warren said: “This is another big step-up in class for Josh. He is desperate to get himself in the World title mix and he has a fantastic opportunity to do so on October 21. Ceylan is a former European Champion and will bring out the best in him.
“The atmosphere was fantastic last time out and I’m sure it will be even better this time with so much on the line. Fans are in for a real treat with some brilliant fity-fifty contests such as Nurse vs. Catterall, and I for one cannot wait.”
Chief support on an unmissable evening of action sees Huddersfield’s British Super-Lightweight Champion Tyrone Nurse (35-2-2,7 KOs) make a highly-anticipated defence of his crown against undefeated Chorley star Jack Catterall (18-0, 10 KOs).
Rising Manchester Super-Featherweight star Zelfa Barrett (18-0, 11 KOs) has a chance to win his first professional title when he takes on Chris Conwell (9-2, 2 KOs) for the Vacant English strap.
Undefeated Liverpool Super-Welterweight talent J.J Metcalf (16-0, 8 KOs) takes on Leeds native Damon Jones (15-1, 3 KOs) in an official eliminator for the British title currently held by Warren stablemate Liam Williams.
An action-packed undercard also features former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and GB squad standout Sam Maxwell (Super-Lightweight); Bradford Welterweight Darren Tetley; Doncaster Featherweight Reece Mould; Leeds Flyweight Jack Bateson and the professional debut of Leeds fighter Jack Daniels.