JOSH WARRINGTON defended his IBF featherweight title in style when he destroyed French challenger Sofiane Takoucht inside two rounds at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Saturday (October 12).

The local hero started out behind his jab but was soon working at a ferocious intensity. His hooks flew to the body and in the second round he was shaking Takoucht badly. He dropped him twice in the second round and had him wobbling badly on his feet before the referee stepped in to end it before the second round was out.

This imposing performance will enhance Warrington’s reputation as he turns his attention to securing a world title unification next year.

Josh Warrington celebrates after knocking down Sofiane Takoucht Action Images/Reuters/Lee Smith

Warrington said, “I’ve made history at Elland Road – Leeds’s first world champion. It would be nice to be Leeds’s first unified world champion at Elland Road and after that, we will go travelling all over the world. We will go on tour.

“I’ve made it very clear. My first defence was Carl Frampton, my second fight was the mandatory challenger. I’m open to any of them. I’m leaving my options open and anyone who wants it, I’m here.

“I’ve got to face the best in the business, not just in the country but the world. And I know these lot [the fans] will go wherever I want. Everyone has the passports at the ready.

“So I can say just a massive thank you to the fans. Be ready, 2020, I’m coming for you all.”

On the undercard Lyndon Arthur and Zelfa Barrett both won intense Commonwealth title fights. Barrett defended his super-featherweight belt in a brutal encounter with Scotland’s Jordan McCorry. Barrett dropped the challenger with savage hooks to the body. He continued to target McCorry’s trunk but the stubborn Scot hung in there, firing back with his heavy right. Until Barrett placed a finishing right uppercut to the head to drop and stop McCorry in the ninth round.

Arthur put strong, determined Ghanaian Emmanuel Anim down with a huge right cross. But Anim stormed back later in the contest, rocking Arthur into the ropes at one point. The Mancunian however had done enough to make sure of a unanimous points decision.