Josh Warrington v Kid Galahad: World champion denies he'll lack hunger in Leeds

Josh Warrington
Josh Warrington

Josh Warrington has dismissed claims he will lack hunger when he defends his IBF featherweight title against Kid Galahad in Leeds on Saturday night.

Warrington will go into the fight as a heavy favourite against his Sheffield opponent, whose real name is Abdul-Bari Awad, after convincing wins over Lee Selby and Carl Frampton.

Galahad's camp believes Warrington's transition from challenger to champion will play into their hands as the underdog seeks to extend his unbeaten professional record to 27 fights.


Key fight details

  • When: Saturday, June 15.
  • Time: Around 10pm
  • Where: First Direct Arena in Leeds
  • TV Channel: BT Sport 1 (not pay-per-view)
  • Sky Bet Odds: Warrington 2/7, Galahad 9/4 (Click for odds)
  • Fighter records: Warrington (28-0, 6 KOs), Galahad (26-0, 15 KOs)
  • Belts on the line: Warrington's IBF World Featherweight title

But Warrington insisted: "It's stupid for him to say I've lost my hunger. Just because my lifestyle's changed doesn't mean I'm going to roll over and let someone take my title.

"I'm just looking at Bari as someone I've got to get through. My hunger has not died one little bit. The hunger after winning this fight is to move on to the big unification bouts."

Good judges give Galahad, who trains in Dominic Ingle's famous Wincobank gym and counts his former gym-mate Naseem Hamed as an inspiration, a chance of causing an upset.

Ingle said: "Josh Warrington hasn't got the same kind of hunger he had when he boxed Carl Frampton and Lee Selby. He's the champion now, he's not the one coming up.

"He's coming up against an unbeaten prospect, someone with the same kind of hunger and determination that he had. Everyone's saying he's going to win this fight, but he's in a different position."

Meanwhile Galahad - real name Abdul-Bari Awad - is convinced he will dethrone Warrington as he looks to complete a remarkable coincidence.

Galahad was just six years old when Naseem Hamed dethroned the respected American Tom 'Boom Boom' Johnson to add the IBF featherweight title to his collection in London in 1997.

Galahad trains at the same Wincobank gym first made famous by Hamed, and he would dote on the advice of the late, great trainer Brendan Ingle, who died in May 2018 at the age of 77.

Two months before he died, Ingle presented Galahad with a T-shirt which the boxer subsequently discovered had been worn by Hamed when he entered the ring prior to one of the most impressive wins of his career.

Galahad said: "Brendan was always giving me stuff - he had loads of stuff left over. Shortly before he died he gave me a black T-shirt and I didn't think anything of it.

"When he passed away I was thinking about that T-shirt, and I got it back out and saw it was from 'Boom Boom' against Hamed for the IBF title. I couldn't believe what a coincidence it was."

Galahad, who is still close to Hamed and regularly seeks his advice, has won all 26 of his professional contests, albeit at a relatively low level and blighted by a two-year drugs ban.

He added: "If it wasn't for Naseem Hamed I wouldn't be a boxer. When I met him at the local mosque, he told me if I wanted to be a champion I had to go and find this guy called Brendan Ingle."

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