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Josh Warrington: I’m ready for the pain, ready for anything in boxing comeback

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Warrington has been expected to rematch Mauricio Lara.

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Former featherweight titlist Josh Warrington gave up his IBF belt in January, and took what seemed to be a tune-up against unheralded Mauricio Lara for February.

Lara shocked the boxing world and Warrington with a pretty dominant stoppage win, and Warrington has obviously been licking his wounds to a degree, but he says he’s fully ready and prepared for the bumps that will come with a return to the ring.

“Certainly no pleasure in coming second place in this game. Not only do you have the mental side of dealing with it, you have the physical side. And it can come in a painful manner,” Warrington wrote on Instagram.

“In 30 of my fights no matter how easy or hard, I’ve always been on the winning side. The ‘W’ alone can cause a distraction to pains that have been endured during the fight. A blanket to cover the cuts, bumps and bruises. Swollen hands can be laughed off, because to win you had to sacrifice something, right?

“Yes, pain is endured throughout a camp, but it’s all for a purpose. The hope that the pain and suffering offers a reward in the form of ‘Win.’ Yes, losing in the sport of boxing can be tough to say the least. The first time I’ve suffered a loss of my professional career has been a painful one, but somehow, when that pain goes away and the bumps and bruises heal, when you start to feel normal, something happens and you want it again.

“You’re ready to sacrifice, you’re ready to go through whatever it takes, you’re ready to give it your all. You’re ready for the pain. I’m at that stage. I’m healed, I’m back at it. I’m ready for anything. Fight news coming soon.”

It’s been expected that Warrington (30-1, 7 KO) will rematch Lara (22-2, 15 KO), with promoter Eddie Hearn targeting that fight for Leeds later this year, either at Elland Road or First Direct Arena, depending on capacity restrictions or other things that could come up between now and then.

Some have questioned the wisdom of going right back in with Lara, but if it happens, it will pretty obvious that Warrington couldn’t be talked out of doing just that, and if he takes a tune-up first instead, maybe he’ll have been talked down a bit, and maybe it’s the better idea for his future. That’s not to say it wouldn’t happen maybe in early 2022 in that case, because I don’t think Warrington is looking to avoid it, but we’ll see what comes up for him next.

But he genuinely sounds ready. It’s a candid look into a fighter’s thought process after a crushing loss like that one.