Josh Warrington vows to fight on despite suffering the first defeat of his professional career


Boxing is a very dangerous occupation.

It might be stating the obvious but in how many jobs does a bad day at the office end up in a trip to the hospital?

Josh Warrington was a serial winner of the employee of the month award. Flawless performance, clinical results and a big fat pay cheque as reward.

But within half an hour at Wembley Arena on Saturday night his career was left in tatters.

Warrington sustained a broken jaw, perforated eardrum and damaged shoulder in a brutal defeat to the little known Mexican Mauricio Lara.

It was one of the biggest shocks in modern boxing.

I was laughing and joking before I went to the ring. That's my own fault, I shouldn't have been in that mindset but I couldn't help it. I just felt so calm, maybe too relaxed. Maybe I thought it was just a given. It's a hard lesson to learn but I went into that ring thinking it was mine. No problem. Meant to be. It turned out it wasn't.

Josh Warrington

Warrington is a crowd pleaser. A hero on the streets of Leeds. His image is painted onto the side of a wall as you enter the city.

On Saturday night there were no fans to feed off, no beer thrown, no cheers after every punch landed. Just an eerie silence. The Kaiser Chiefs still predicted a riot as he strode confidently towards the ring but can there still be a riot with a few security guards, cameramen and officials all taking care of their business?

It was maybe the perfect storm for Warrington, and it would lead to destruction.

Amongst the thousands of Warrington fans cheering their television sets on Saturday night was Josh's wife Natasha. Their twins were due to celebrate their third birthday the following day, but were blissfully unaware that daddy was in a fight that would leave him needing oxygen in the ring and a checkover at hospital.

She doesn't want to see her husband getting beat up like that or put in the back of an ambulance after or having doctors around me in the ring and in the changing rooms put me on oxygen tanks but at the same time she knows what I put myself through. She had to be strong for me and she has been since the fight. I've got a really good girl there."

Josh Warrington on wife Natasha

In the fourth round Warrington suffered the first knock down of his professional career. In the ninth, he suffered his second.

That he made it to the ninth was cause for debate amongst professional boxing's esteemed alumni but Josh insists he was fully lucid between both knock downs. He wanted to continue after the second but referee Howard Foster decided enough was enough.

His first career defeat but not the end of the journey according to 'Leeds Warrior'.

What I've done so far in my career it's well past anything I thought I'd ever end up doing. I won a world title. I defended it three times. I believe I can go on and win another world title and maybe move up weights. They're all little goals I've got. If I achieve them then fantastic. If I don't I can be satisfied with my career

Josh Warrington

Everyone is entitled to an off-day at work.

Most can dust themselves off and return the next day ready to go again.

It might have delayed his career aspirations, but it wouldn't surprise you to see Josh Warrington climbing the corporate ladder once his bruised body and battered pride are fully healed.