Former world featherweight champions and rivals Josh Warrington, 31-3-1 (8 KOs) and Leigh Wood, 28-3 (17 KOs), clashed at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday as Zelfa Barrett headlined with a 10th-round stoppage of Jordan Gill. 

However, Warrington and Wood shared a ringside confrontation and had to be separated by security, with video footage showing Wood walking away from an animated Warrington. 

They boxed last October in a thrilling seven-round contest, with Wood claiming a contentious stoppage – in Warrington’s opinion. 

Warrington explained to Boxing Social that Wood had caused the confrontation, having offered to fight Warrington outside the venue, which lit the touchpaper for the confrontation. 

“He walked past me before the fight [Barrett vs Gill] started. I didn’t realise so I’ve turned round and we’re stood face to face and he said, ‘What’s happening then?’ and I said, ‘You haven’t got to drive to Leeds, I’m here’,” Warrington told Boxing Social. 

“He said, ‘Listen, I did you in the ring, and I’ll do you outside’, and I said, ‘Let’s go’, so he turned his back and walked away. He talks a load of s*** to you guys on the cameras, but when it comes to face-to-face, he’s uncomfortable. If he’s comfortable, let’s get the fight done already.”

The pair had been discussing a potential rematch at the City Ground in Nottingham in Wood’s hometown. However, talks collapsed and a compromise regarding the location of a proposed rematch and its financial viability could not be agreed upon. 

Promoter Eddie Hearn conceded that it has proved challenging to get all parties to agree on terms and to get it signed and delivered.

“It’s the deal; it has proved very difficult. We have had contractual numbers to go to Nottingham Forest [City Ground], but those numbers are different if you go to an arena,” Hearn told Boxing Social. 

“I am looking at other fights for both guys, but I would like them to rematch each other. We will see what happens.”

Hearn confirmed that Wood is currently a free agent after failing to deliver a fight at the City Ground, which had been a stipulation in his contract. However, Hearn remains confident that Wood will stay under the Matchroom banner. 

“I don’t think Wood is looking to go elsewhere. We have a great relationship and I have made him an absolute fortune.”

Hearn revealed that Warrington has an option to return in July in the U.K. but will first try to secure a lucrative rematch for the pair. 

“Josh is good. We have got another fight in place for Josh in July in the U.K., but we prefer the Leigh Wood fight, and we will exhaust all options on that first,” said Hearn.

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