Warrington aims to overcome Frampton and become Christmas number one

Josh Warrington will aim to become the number one for Christmas when he meets Carl Frampton in the first defence of his IBF world featherweight title.

Despite being unbeaten in 27 professional fights and having upset the odds to beat Lee Selby and capture the world title in May, the Leeds Warrior is still ranked a place behind Frampton.

Warrington believes victory over bookies favourite Frampton on Saturday would secure his reputation as a world-class fighter and answer his critics.

Putting the final touches to his training camp at Dicky’s Gym in Batley, Warrington said: “The board have got him ranked number one and me a place behind him, even though I’m world champion. ‘Carl’s another level above’. That’s what they think.

“We could have taken an easier fight than this. We could have had a steady one but you look down the list of IBF fighters and think ‘how are they even in the top 15?’. We’re not about fights like that.

“Now we’ve got to this level we want the big ones. After this I’m not thinking ‘I want a steady defence next year’. I want the unification fights. I want (WBO champion) Oscar Valdez, to go over to the States and do it there.

“I want the fights that keep you up at night because that’s what brings the best out of me.”

Having overcome previous World champion Selby, Warrington is now attempting to scalp the other of his major rivals in the division when he meets Frampton.

He added: “When people have said ‘I didn’t fancy you against Selby’ I tell them I appreciate their honesty and I ask ‘why not?’.

“Are you saying I had no chance whatsoever when it’s a two-horse race? I was unbeaten before that fight and I’m still unbeaten now. All I’d say was ‘name me a fighter Selby’s beaten who I wouldn’t beat as well’.

“There’s no-one and when it comes round to it, people didn’t have an answer to that.

“You hear what get’s said – ‘he’ll get found at this level’ – but then we get to this level, we come through it and no-one knows what to say. Carl’s next and I feel like this one will cement us.”