JOSH WARRINGTON needed that. Sofiane Takoucht was not the opponent the IBF featherweight champion wanted. The unheralded Frenchman came to the Leeds Arena with no world title of own, no great renown, just the status of being the kind of mandatory challenger who could cause problems. If that is the champion had half an eye on bigger and better fights in the not too distant future.
A dull showing would also have stalled the momentum Warrington had built up with stirring victories over Lee Selby and Carl Frampton last year. However, propelled to the ring by the drum and pipe band of the Royal Dragoon Guards as well as the deafening cheers of his delirious, raucous crowd of supporters, Warrington delivered.
“Hearing them, I could have run through walls. It makes you proud,” Warrington said. “I felt like man possessed.”