Punch-perfect Warrington lifts Commonwealth crown

Josh Warrington (right) lands a punch flush on Samir Mouneimne's jaw on his way to taking the Commonwealth Featherweight title. Photo: Trevor Price

Josh Warrington (right) lands a punch flush on Samir Mouneimne's jaw on his way to taking the Commonwealth Featherweight title. Photo: Trevor Price

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Josh Warrington produced the punch perfect display to record the first stoppage victory of his career as he claimed the Commonwealth featherweight title.

The 22-year-old Leeds Warrior inflicted a first defeat on home favourite Samir Mouneimne at the Hull Arena last Saturday.

Warrington, who trains out of the Central Boxing Club in Batley, silenced the hostile home crowd as he stopped Mouneimne one minute 20 seconds into the final round.

Warrington had produced a superb defensive display to thwart the dangerous Mouneimne and after the home man tired in the middle and latter rounds, the Leeds ace pounced with a flurry of hurtful shots.

Leeds United fan Warrington was comfortably ahead on all three judges scorecards when he went out for the 12th round.

Dad and trainer Sean O’Hagan offered words of caution for Warrington to avoid getting hit but the Leeds man had other ideas.

Needing a knock-out to wrestle the Commonwealth belt from Warrington’s grasp, Mouneimne charged out at the start of the final session but his wild swings missed their target, as they had for much of the fight.

Warrington responded with a lovely four-punch combination to the head and when Mouneimne offered no response, the Leeds Warrior seized the opportunity.

Warrington landed a huge right, which wobbled Mouneimne on the ropes and he followed up with three more heavy blows which led to referee Howard Foster jumping in to stop the fight to the delight of Warrington and his corner.

Warrington now joins an elite list of boxers to have held the Commonwealth featherweight belt, including Nicky Cook, Scott Harrison and Paul Ingle.

Warrington had earlier weathered everything Mouneimne could throw at him.

His defence was spot on as he ducked, weaved and blocked Mouneimne’s best shots.

The condition Warrington was in also played a big part in his win as when Mouneimne tired late on, the Leeds man had the energy to finish strongly.

The first four rounds were even but after landing a hurtful shot in the fifth, Warrington stepped up the pace.

He cut Mouneimne above an eye in the seventh and with the fight slipping away, the Hull man became more erratic the longer it went on.

This only played into Warrington’s hands as he avoided the best shots Mouneimne could throw at him and continually hurt his opponent with swift counter attacking blows to the body and head.

At the time of the stoppage, two judges had Warrington ahead 108-101 on points, while the third scored it 109-100 in favour of the Leeds man.