Leigh Wood has already grown tired of the excuses.
The two-time and reigning (for now) WBA featherweight titlist rallied to score an improbable seventh-round knockout of former two-time IBF titlist Josh Warrington. Their October 7 DAZN headliner from Utilita Arena in Sheffield saw Wood fall well behind on all three scorecards and allow momentum to slip away before he rocked, dropped and eventually stopped his countryman with seconds to go in round seven.
The expired time in the the round serves as a point of contention for Warrington (31-3-1, 8KOs) and his team, who continue to insist that referee Michael Alexander should have allowed the bout to continue. The 32-year-old Leeds man beat the count but had his back turned to the third man, who waved off the contest despite the knockdown taking place just before the bell and with the one-minute break period immediately ahead.
“I had my senses about me,” Warrington insisted to Boxing-Social. “I heard Michael Alexander say ‘six.’ I heard the bell go off and then ‘seven.’ I turned around at eight and he’s fucking waving it off.
Wood (28-3, 17KOs) had to pull up receipts to disprove that notion.
“Just give me some f—— credit for a change,” Wood insisted. “We can do it again.”
Video evidence showed that the final punch landed by the Nottingham native was a left hook prior to the bell to end the round. Warrington beat the count but staggered to his corner and with his back to the referee upon the count of eight before Alexander waved his arms to end the fight.
The bout is likely the last at featherweight for Wood, who will have to face mandatory challenger Otabek Kholmatov if he decides to drain himself for one more fight. The greater likelihood is a move up to junior lightweight; Warrington and his team expressed a willingness to follow him up the scale and continue to insist on running it back sometime next year.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox