Josh Warrington has today vacated his IBF World Title after the IBF refused to sanction his proposed unification fight in April.
Earlier this month, the proposed unification with Xu Can was delayed with a new working date of April 24.
Matchroom will now look to finalise that fight or make a giant match up with WBC king Gary Russell. Both the Can and Russell fights would be for the coveted Ring Magazine belt.
“It’s so important for Josh to be in a mega fight after Lara on February 13,” said Matchroom Sport Managing Director Eddie Hearn.
“He has his heart set on the Ring belt and it’s up to us to make the Can or Russell fights for April or early May.
“I’ve been working hard with Robert Diaz of Golden Boy to close Xu Can and also had several conversations with Luis De Cubas regarding a Gary Russell bout – both fights are Fight of the Year contenders.”
“It’s disappointing we couldn’t have the IBF Title on the line, but I can’t let those decisions stand in the way of me going down in British boxing history by facing the very best in the division,” said Warrington.
“I’ve always dreamt about winning the Ring belt, for me it leaves no doubt who the king of the division is. Right now, my mind and focus is on Lara for February 13 and then I’m looking to pick up that beautiful red and blue belt.”
Eddie Hearn also said, “There are two things — Can Xu wants to fight in front of a crowd and also his deal was better with numbers on the gate.
“I wouldn’t say it was a financial issue but he genuinely wants to fight in front of fans, he doesn’t want to fight behind closed doors.” reported by Ron Lewis of Boxing Scene.
“I like the Gary Russell fight,” Hearn said. “It’s a WBC world title, he’s No 2 in the Ring Magazine. I like the Garry Russell fight. It’s a WBC world title, he’s No.2 in the Ring Magazine and I love that fight. Warrington is ready to go now, he wants something major and really wants to test himself.
“I actually think this fight [with Lara] is going to do Josh good. He hasn’t boxed for 15 months so he can go in and hopefully do a job on Lara and then go straight back into camp.”
Warrington will face Mauricio Lara on Saturday February 13 live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.
The IBF mandatory Kid Galahad will now be in line to fight for the vacant title.