Warrington to fight Galahad June 15 in Leeds

Featherweight world titlist Josh Warrington will make his mandatory defense against Kid Galahad, but just a little later than initially intended.

Warrington and British countryman Galahad, former amateur rivals, will meet June 15 (ESPN+) at Leeds Arena in Warrington's hometown of Leeds, England, promoter Frank Warren said on Tuesday.

The fight had originally been planned -- though not formally announced -- to take place on May 4 in Leeds but it was delayed for a month because Warrington was dealing with a minor hand injury.

Warrington (28-0, 6 KOs), 28, will be making his second title defense after upsetting Lee Selby by split decision to win the 126-pound belt last May followed by an impressive performance in his first defense, a unanimous verdict against former world titleholder Carl Frampton in December.

"All of sudden people are saying I am capable of beating every featherweight in the world and with that comes expectation," Warrington said. "I will go into this fight as the bookies' favorite, but I will be 100 percent focused and looking to do a job.

"I knew (Galahad) when we were amateurs, and he was always a decent guy, but over the last few years he seems to have changed and put on some persona. He did well at (junior featherweight), but he has beaten nobody as a featherweight and he has lost respect from me for some of his antics. I am concentrating purely on (Galahad), but after this I want one of the other world champions. I want champion after champion."

When Warren and Galahad promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing could not make a deal for the bout it went to a purse bid, which Warren won with an offer of $1.68 million to Hearn's $1.44 million bid.

Galahad (26-0, 15 KOs), 29, earned the mandatory title shot with a unanimous decision over Toka Kahn Clary in a final elimination bout in October in Boston. To stay sharp, Galahad then won an eight-round decision over Brayan Mairena in a December tune-up fight.

"Josh's biggest asset is that people underestimate him and he is a lot better than what he looks," Galahad said. "He's strong, tough, durable and mentally strong, but I have the skill, will and mental toughness to beat him.

"He beat me fair and square when we were amateurs, but down the line I knew I would always fight him again. This is professional boxing, different game. Why am I the man to beat him? I know mentally that I am on a different level and I have the best team in British boxing.

"He is going to walk onto a shot, he is going to get hurt very badly and his dad, who trains him, will stop the fight because he will make an emotional decision and throw in the towel around round six, seven or eight."

Warrington downplayed that prognostication.

"That prediction makes me giggle. It is funny how these scenarios get drawn up," Warrington said. "He isn't in touch with reality and talking daft. It is playground stuff. He can spout off what he likes, but when the first bell goes it will be me against him and we will see how special he and his team are then."