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Warrington questions Galahad's defence of failed drugs test

Josh Warrington (left) and Kid Galahad (right) go head-to-head at their fight announcement press conference in Leeds -- Jun. 19, 2019. Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images

Josh Warrington has said he does not believe Kid Galahad's explanation for failing a drugs test earlier in his career as the pair prepare for their world title fight on Saturday.

Warrington's second defence of his IBF world featherweight belt in an all-English clash with Galahad will be streamed live on ESPN+ in the U.S. and on BT Sport in the UK.

But before the two Yorkshire boxers meet at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, Warrington (28-0, 6 KOs), has cast doubt on Galahad's claim that his brother, Mageed Awad, spiked his protein shake following a row, causing him to fail a doping test in 2014.

"It doesn't add up really," Warrington told ESPN. "Would his brother really do that after they've had a row? It's disgraceful that people feel they need to take these substances to get an advantage because this is a dangerous sport. Maybe they don't have the confidence in their own ability.

"It's absolute bulls---. It's disgraceful people do these things to get themselves an advantage."

Galahad (26-0, 15 KOs), 29, has always maintained his innocence. In 2015 he told Sky Sports: "I didn't know what was going on until a few weeks later I found out a family member had actually spiked me. It was a malicious act committed in an argument over money."

He received a two-year ban, later reduced by six months, after testing positive for banned steroid stanozolol following his defeat of Adeilson Dos Santos on points in September 2014.

Warrington, 28, has outpointed Carl Frampton and Lee Selby in his last two fights and will have the backing of the crowd in his home city on Saturday night.

He also does not believe Galahad has fought at an impressive level, even though he has earned a first world title fight by compiling eight wins since he returned from the doping ban in April 2016.

"His style is elusive and he tries to frustrate fighters," Warrington told ESPN. "Miss and spoil opponents, then take pot shots. He invites opponents to come in.

"He's all right when he fights at his own pace and he has been allowed to do that so far. He's won an eliminator so has earned his shot at the title but when you look down the list of who we have both boxed it's nowhere near in terms of quality.

"My opponents have had 90 percent winning records, I've fought reigning and former world champions, where as his opponents have had 60 percent winning records. He's not been tested.

"His one test was Jazza Dickens at domestic level. He's not been tested yet."

The Qatar-born boxer, who moved to England at age 4, comes from the same Sheffield gym that produced the likes of Naseem Hamed and Kell Brook. He was named Kid Galahad by trainer Brendan Ingle, who died last year, after a 1962 film featuring Elvis Presley.

It was Hamed who suggested Galahad -- real name Abdul-Bari Awad -- train at Ingle's gym after they met at a mosque when Galahad was 11 years old.

Warrington hopes beating Galahad -- now trained by Brendan's son Dominic -- sets up a unification title fight against one of the other champions: Leo Santa Cruz (WBA), Gary Russell Jr (WBC) or Oscar Valdez (WBO).

"Leo Santa Cruz is top of the tree and he's the man I want. He has a high profile," Warrington told ESPN. "I would love to share a ring with Valdes or Russell too but Leo has a bigger profile, and it could happen in the U.S. He's No 1 in the rankings so beat him and I'm No 1."