By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 16/06/19 3:40am
Josh Warrington defeated Kid Galahad via a split decision to successfully defend his IBF world featherweight title for a second time.
Warrington claimed victory in front of his hometown fans in Leeds, after a close and physical contest at the First Direct Arena, via scores of 116-113 and 115-112 with Howard Foster favouring Galahad by 115-113.
Galahad used his elusive movement to avoid many of Warrington’s punches but the champion upped his work-rate in the later rounds to hand his Sheffield rival his first defeat in 27 contests.
“I knew it were close but you can’t come to a champion’s backyard and win the title by fighting like that,” said Warrington.
“He was clever with the way he was fighting. I put myself under a lot of pressure, I was tense and I got carried away with it all.”
The mandatory challenger switched stances from the opening round and enjoyed success with his fast hands.
Warrington finished the second round strongly by landing a combination and backed up his opponent in the next by connecting with two straight lefts.
The ‘Leeds Warrior’ roused his fans in the fifth round when he briefly rocked Galahad after landing a right.
The pair traded rounds and Warrington started to edge ahead before hurting his former amateur rival in the 10th with a left to the head.
Galahad battled to the final bell but the champion’s continual pressure secured him the narrow victory to follow up his two wins over his rival in the amateur ranks.