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Warrington defends IBF belt against Lopez

Josh Warrington

Josh Warrington from Leeds in England defends his IBF featherweight belt against Mexico’s Luis Alberto Lopez in what is considered a clash of styles at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Saturday night.

The 32-year-old Warrington (31-1; 8) regained his IBF featherweight belt in March of this year with a seventh-round stoppage against Kiko Martinez.

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He lost the belt, Mauricio Lara, in 2021.

Lopez, 29, who has a record of 26-2; 15, will be having his second in the United Kingdom after winning on a stoppage against Isaac Lowe last December.

Warrington is a come-forward fighter but he will be careful not to take any risks against the rugged Mexican.

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He has speed advantages and boxing skills, with Lopez likely to have to win on a knockout.

However, it is a good bet that Warrington will win on points over 12 closely contested rounds.

Japan’s Naoya Inoue, the WBA/WBC/IBF bantamweight champion, goes into his fight against Paul Butler of England as the overwhelming favorite when they clash for all four belts on Tuesday at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

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According to some betting odds, Inoue is listed at minus 5000 and Butler at plus 1200.

Some consider the 29-year-old Inoue (23-0; 20) as Japan’s greatest boxer and if he wins the WBO belt, he will vacate all four belts and move up to junior featherweight.

The underdog Butler (32-2; 15) had come through as the underdog when he upset Jonas Sultan to become the WBO champion.

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Butler, 34, is at the top of his game and fights well off the front and back foot, as well as at orthodox or southpaw.

However, he does not have the speed and technique, or power to match Inoue.

Most critics are predicting an inside-the-distance win for Inoue.

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