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Leeds lad Warrington in for a tough night against gritty Aussie Brunker

02 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Leeds lad Warrington in for a tough night against gritty Aussie Brunker

Boxing in Leeds returns with local hero Josh Warrington, who must overcome his toughest fight yet to continues his world title quest

Most fighters are always very forthright in hailing their supporting team to be as important as themselves when it comes to fighting.

Coaches, trainers, conditioners, nutritionists, psycholigists: boxing in the modern era is increasingly becoming a team sport.

Yet Yorkshire lad Josh Warrington has a team that expands way beyond his immediate entourage.

Warrington’s raucous fans are arguably the most rowdy in the UK and give their man a huge home advantage every time he fights in Leeds.

And the First Direct Arena in Leeds will be packed to the rafters once again this weekend as their local hero fights to retain his WBC International Featherweight Title against tough Aussie Joel Brunker.

Warrington enters the bout as a fairly generous favourite at 1/6, with most not believing that Brunker has what it takes to hand the Yorkshireman his first professional defeat.

The 24-year-old has been making noise about a potential fight with featherweight world champion Lee Selby, who incidentally ended the Aussie’s unbeaten record in October last year.

However if Warrington-Selby is to take place, the Englishman has to deal with arguably his toughest opponent to date in Brunker – who is a relative KO artist at this weight and has recorded good wins on his travels before.

The Aussie is priced as a 4/1 outsider, which flatters Warrington given the 29-year-old’s experience and power.

The underdog has 16 knock-outs from his 28 fights – an impressive 55 per cent ratio considering that he is merely a featherweight.

Warrington will not be used to such punching power, so a big question in this fight will be how the lad from Leeds reacts to the step up in aggression.

Brunker is 7/1 to land the perfect punch and win the bout by knock-out.

On the other hand, Warrington will be able to take great comfort from the knowledge that his opponent has mainly faced low-level opposition in his hometown of New South Wales – worlds apart from the hostile atmosphere that he will face in Leeds come fight night.

Interestingly, although Brunker is arguably the more experienced fighter, only four of his 28 fights have reached the 12th round.

This inexperience going into the later rounds showed when he fought Lee Selby, where he was competitive early on but faltered badly before being stopped in the ninth.

Warrington will surely have watched that fight and will look to execute a similar game plan in order to try to pile the pressure on Brunker during the later rounds.

The Yorkshireman has fought in five 12-round fights, winning by KO twice – and is 2/1 to make that three on Saturday night.

This could well be an extremely difficult night’s work for Warrington, and if Brunker’s power is enough to discourage the Englishman then we could be looking at a surprise.

With very little to choose between them, a draw at 22/1 could well be a good shout.

However, with the raucous Leeds faithful cheering him on and with a potential world-title fight in the making, Warrington ought to have enough to pull through before eventually outclassing Brunker – and is 7/1 to stop him in rounds 10-12.

Josh Warrington v Joel Brunker betting