Josh Warrington vacates IBF featherweight belt to chase The Ring magazine title

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Josh-Warrington-021220-GETTY-FTR (Getty Images)

IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington has vacated the belt after the body rejected a request to sanction a unification fight with the WBA’s champion Xu Can.

Warrington’s next fight was against Mauricio Lara on 13 February, but he was working on a fight with Can on 24 April.

However, Matchroom promoter has said that his 30-year-old fighter is now likely to face Can regardless, or Gary Russell - the WBC champion - both of which would also see The Ring Magazine lineal championship on the line.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hearn said: "It's so important for Josh to be in a mega-fight after Lara on February 13.

"He has his heart set on the Ring belt and it's up to us to make the Can or Russell fights for April or early May.

"I've been working hard with Robert Diaz of Golden Boy to close Xu Can and also had several conversations with Luis De Cubas regarding a Gary Russell bout - both fights are Fight of the Year contenders."

Warrington explained his decision as one that could help him cement his legacy.

"It's disappointing we couldn't have the IBF title on the line, but I can't let those decisions stand in the way of me going down in British boxing history by facing the very best in the division," he said.

"I've always dreamt about winning the Ring belt, for me it leaves no doubt who the king of the division is.

"Right now, my mind and focus is on Lara for February 13 and then I'm looking to pick up that beautiful red and blue belt."

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