Leigh Wood stops Josh Warrington with outrageous KO out of nowhere

Wood looked close to being finished before he stopped Warrington with a brutal combination in Round 7

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Saturday 07 October 2023 23:41 BST
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Leigh Wood retained the WBA featherweight title with a vicious knockout of Josh Warrington on Saturday, when it looked like the champion himself was on the verge of being finished.

Wood employed a southpaw stance to good effect in the first two rounds, but Warrington – a former two-time IBF champion – began to pull ahead by getting the better of most exchanges, loading up on fierce shots and putting his opponent in trouble throughout.

Wood soon began to leak blood from a cut around his right eye, but Warrington faced his own moment of adversity when he was docked a point in Round 7 for a punch to the back of the head – having previously been warned by the referee.

At that stage, few onlookers would have predicted that the penalty would affect the result, however; Warrington looked to be on course for victory, whether it be on the scorecards or inside the distance.

Yet suddenly, against the run of the action, Wood produced a stunning finish with just seconds remaining in the seventh frame, dropping the “Leeds Warrior” with a brutal combination.

Wood, 35, stopped Warrington in his tracks with a clean left hook, before adding two right hooks and one more left to drop the 32-year-old badly.

Although Warrington somehow hauled himself off the canvas, he was still on shaky legs, and the referee waved off the contest.

With the result, Wood made a successful first defence of his second reign as WBA champion, having lost then regained the belt in back-to-back duels with Mauricio Lara earlier this year.

His focus now turns to a dream fight at the City Ground, home to his beloved Nottingham Forest football club.

While Warrington, having now suffered back-to-back defeats, seemed to hint at a possible retirement, he also welcomed a rematch with Wood at the City Ground.

Wood has form for this kind of knockout, having beaten Michael Conlan with a devastating finish in Round 12 of their title fight last year, when the Irishman was ahead on the scorecards.

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