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12/03/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2019 09:49

Josh Warrington exclusive diary: Ideal scenario for my next fight

There seems to be a few different people mentioning my name at the moment. It's nice. I feel wanted! There are obviously people below you who will always shout your name out because they want to be where you are but when it's people who are on the same sort of level as you shouting you out, that's what you want to be hearing. Especially when you want the big fights. Rather than just keep asking for things that never seem to happen, it makes it more realistic that it actually might.

I got asked the other day what my ideal scenario would be. Looking at the other champions my top choice of opponent would be Gary Russell Jnr. He's got that WBC title and I think he's the biggest scalp. Then it'd be Shakur Stevenson and then Can Xu. That'd be the ideal order if I had my way. I'm just waiting to see what gets sorted out now. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.

I'll be honest, I was licking my lips a little bit when I saw Can Xu's punch stats the other week. He threw 1,562 in twelve rounds. That's some going is that. I think my nearest to that was when I boxed a six rounder against Chris Riley up in the North East at Rainton Meadows.The punch stats had me throwing 757 in a six rounder. If I carried on going at that rate I'd be somewhere near. I tell you what, we'd have a barnstormer me and that Can Xu.

Fair play to him, he got caught with some shots in that fight but he never backs up. He just stands there and unloads. If you're gonna stand and trade with him you have to be smart with it. Give him a bit of movement and head movement. The guy he fought the other week just stood there in straight lines. It's ok to take them when they aren't coming back at you with much speed but when I'm stood planted and digging my heels in and firing back fast, it'd be a different gravy for Mr Xu.

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It's been a few weeks now since my win over Sofiane Takoucht. I think I'd probably have to go back to the amateurs for my last two round win!

On the day of the fight my dad told me that if I got him rocking early on he didn't want me jumping on him straight away. He wanted me to take my time and pick them. He said if I got him out too early I'd feel a bit lost and have a feeling of 'Is that it?' he told me to try and get four rounds in before I went to take him out. In that second round, when he got up I kind of walked to him and only threw another two punches and he was down again. I just decided to get him out. The crowd were on their feet and I just felt one more punch would do it. He did well to stay up for another 30 seconds but then a combination did it.

In the dressing room I felt solid and strong on the pads.When I walked out to the centre of the ring I had a feeling that if I land one of these on the top of his head I'm gonna rock him. It didn't take long.

It was just what I needed. People don't realise but it was 11.30pm when I went to the ring. That's quite late but there's a flip side to that. The bars stayed open. If the bars close at 9pm then people have sobered up by the time I get to the ring. If you've then got ten or 12 rounds some people might start to leave when they see that you're winning easy and the other guy is just looking to survive and not make a fight of it. I spoke to a load of fellas who were telling me that the atmosphere in the arena was back to its best. My friends all usually sit in one block but they spread themselves out and every single block had a good atmosphere. With me finishing the fight off like that, I had a lot of people telling me it was just like the old days when I first started coming through.

I said beforehand that I needed to put a statement in and it can be hard to do that if you haven't got a massive name in front of you so you need to make it count in the ring. I think a lot of people thought I might get him out in six or eight but nobody expected it to be over so quick.

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I think it backed up the win over Carl Frampton. Maybe if I'd pushed on in the Frampton fight I might have got him out early. It showed that I can start fast and keep a good pace. I'm glad he managed to survive it in a way because it made for an epic fight but I sometimes wonder if I'd just picked a couple of cleaner shots whether I might have got him out of there.

We're setting up a new gym and it's coming along well. We've got the ring in there now and I've got one of these punching machines that Chris Eubank's always using. I'm just waiting for a rig to hang the bags off now. It's looking good. I was back in the week after the fight. My team mate, Maxi Hughes, was fighting Liam Walsh so I had a week off and was back in sparring eight or ten rounds for a couple of weeks afterwards. I started feeling a bit jaded so had a couple of weeks off and now I'm back in just keeping my strength up. Maxi boxed well but just came up a bit short. He would love to win a prestigious belt before he retires. The British title would be fantastic for him. I just hope he gets another shot.

That Lonsdale belt is beautiful. I won it but don't have one to keep. I used to say to my wife Natasha that when my time at the top is done I'll come back down and try to win the British title again. Since we had kids and got settled, that idea has gone out of the window!

It's the big rematch this weekend and I want my man A.J to win but I think it could end up being the same result. AJ is putting a lot of emotion into it and Andy Ruiz has had a lot longer to prepare. I think AJ has asked for a bigger ring to give himself more space but he's still gonna have to engage to get some shots off. The pressure is on. Ruiz was happy to be there last time and there's more pressure on Ruiz's shoulders than Joshua's.

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