Leigh Wood has hinted that he is likely to move up in weight after his next fight.
The Nottingham featherweight takes on Josh Warrington on Saturday, exclusively live on DAZN.
Wood, who is trained by Ben Davison, meets the man from Leeds in a defence of the WBA world title at 126lbs on neutral ground.
The pair will meet at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield, atop a card promoted by Eddie Hearn for Matchroom Boxing.
And Wood, who regained the belt with a points win over Mexican danger man Mauricio Lara in their rematch back in May –– after getting stopped by the former Warrington opponent inside seven rounds three months earlier –– is big for the weight.
“I’ve wanted this fight for maybe five or six years,” Wood told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour while being joined by Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper. “I was calling for this when Josh was flying high and I couldn’t get a fight of any description.
“But I picked Warrington and told Eddie [Hearn] that I wasn’t going to fight him unless it was in the contract that my next fight would take place at the City Ground [the home of the aforementioned Nottingham Forest] and we’ve got that clause in there.
“What I need to do is go out and win and then I’ll have a little break –– because I’ve had three fights on the spin this year and at world level, not many fighters do that.”
Warrington, a former two-time IBF world champion at featherweight who was himself stopped by Lara in their first fight in February 2021. In his last outing, back in December last year, the 32-year-old (31-2-1, 8 KOs) dropped a majority decision at the hands of his mandatory challenger Luis Alberto Lopez, also of Mexico, to succumb the red, white and gold belt a second time after initially relinquishing it pre-the first Lara showdown.
Eddie Hearn, the promoter of both men, has teased that Warrington could move up to super-featherweight in the future, to take on current IBF world champion Joe Cordina (16-0, 9 KOs).
And though Warrington has stated that the fight happening would come down to the amount of money put on the table by Hearn, ‘Leigh-thal’ Wood seems very intent on stepping up whatever the result this weekend.
“On Saturday, I’m going to go out there, I’m going to impress, be dominant and I’m going to win and then I’ll have a few months off and then hopefully we get the fight there in May,” he continued. “I’m just going to stick to what I’ve practiced with my team, my game plan, because I know what I need to do. If all goes to plan, I can see myself getting him [Warrington] out of there with a mid-to-late stoppage.
“I’ve got a lot of options on the table, but I think I need to move up. It’s getting hard to make this weight and I’ve made it for a long, long time so this will probably be my last fight at featherweight –– unless I get an offer I can’t refuse which would tie in with the City Ground.
“If not, though, we’ll move up and look at the options. I think, when you vacate a belt [to move up], you become number one for that belt and whoever has got the WBA [world title at super-featherweight] at the time, we’ll look at that. There’s Cordina, which is a great fight, but I don’t really want to think about or talk about it.
“My eyes are on Saturday night and I’m going to go out there and show everyone exactly what I’m all about.”