Josh Warrington v Sofiane Takoucht: Leeds hero wins inside two rounds to defend IBF featherweight title

Josh Warrington

Josh Warrington blew Sofiane Takoucht away inside two rounds to successfully defend his IBF featherweight title for the third time.

The Leeds hero thrilled the First Direct Arena crowd by knocking his French opponent (35-4-1, 13 KOs) to the canvas twice in a brutal second round before the referee had no option to wave off the fight with a third knock down looking likely.

Warrington, who beat Lee Selby to win the title last year before overcoming both Carl Frampton and Kid Galahad in the last 10 months, explosively extends his 100% record to 30 fights.

It was the perfect way to make amends for his scrappy split-decision victory over Galahad in June as many expected him to struggle against the veteran southpaw.

Takoucht's awkward style saw Warrington initially struggle for his range before the defending champion pinned his French challenger against the ropes with a fine four-shot combination.

Warrington then landed a flush right hand just before the bell rang at the end of the first round and it was one-way traffic thereafter.

Warrington increased the intensity as he swamped all over Takoucht, with the 33-year-old struggling to keep the Yorkshireman at bay.

A left to the head and right to the body saw Takoucht hit the canvas for the first time before Warrington fired another barrage of hooks to send his challenger crashing to the ground once again with over a minute to go in the second round.

Takoucht was scrambling to hold off another onslaught as Warrington sensed blood but the referee stepped in and waved off the contest to the eruption of the Leeds crowd.

After the victory he told BT Sport: "Did you enjoy that guys? The fans deserved it. I think I took my frustration in not getting a unification bout out on him.

"It shows what we have been working on has worked. The last fight gave us all a wake up call. We worked on southpaws for the last 11 weeks and it paid off.

"I have made it very clear. I am open to any of them. Gary Russell Jr is kicking about. Shakur Stevenson could be fighting for the WBO. I am leaving my options open.

"Obviously Gary Russell Jr only comes out once a year. If Xu Can wants the fight here I am.

"Everyone has their passports at the ready. In 2020 we are coming for you all."

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