Josh Warrington wants big fights after defeating Carl Frampton

I was fit and strong but Josh was fitter and stronger. I was hurt a number of times.

"I still have that, I still feel like a challenger, like I have to prove people wrong because they have me as an underdog". "I think he's the best featherweight in the world".

'I have a young family at home and I have been in the game a long time, ' he said.

There have been some boxing classics in 2018 but this was an all out war, with Warrington coming out on top at the Manchester Arena.

There was the assumption that the greater nous of Frampton would shine through and he battled on gamely, but Warrington was a worthy victor of a fantastic bout.

"I want to be part of these big nights", Warrington told The Telegraph.

And the Belfast fighter says he never wondered whether he would get the chance to challenge for world honours once more ahead of the showdown with his fellow Briton at the Manchester Arena.

"Carl is a tough, tough man", he said.

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He still is, but he has beaten every man put in front of him, working his way through minor titles and gradually climbing the rankings and gathering fans as he picked his way through the featherweight division.

Frampton had success every time he stood off but it was freaky that he continually looked to exchange up close when Warrington swiftly closed the gap.

The former WBO world middleweight king, 29, faced Ghanaian former Olympic bronze medal victor over six rounds and, after securing a retirement win at the end of the fourth round, will be looking to reclaim a global honour in the new year having lost it earlier this year over a failed drugs test for a nasal spray.

A cut to Frampton caused the Northern Irishman trouble, but he could not catch Warrington on the scorecards after a slow start.

The halfway point arrived with neither man willing to give an inch but Warrington finished the sixth better as he coated the ringside photographers with a cascade of Frampton sweat after a solid combination whipped his head back. Behind a crisp jab, he is constantly on the move, looking for angles, and against Lee Selby he chose his moments to go on the front foot and attack and picked the Welshman off on the backfoot when he pushed to get back into the fight.

Both fighters weighed in just below the nine-stone weight limit on Friday, with Frampton, the betting favourite with bookmakers, five ounces heavier.

Warrington closed the 11th with several furious one-twos and the fighters embraced before the start of the final round, the respect for each other palpable. As the rounds went on, he was landing more than a few big shots of his own.

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