Exclusive: Josh Warrington reveals conversation he had with Carl Frampton

"It's sad to see him go out like that but like I say, he's achieved so much in the sport he won't be remembered just for that fight."

Josh Warrington has revealed the conversation he had with Carl Frampton following his defeat to Jamel Herring.

The Jackal was bidding to become Ireland's first three-division world champion.

Despite cutting the American above the right eye in the fourth round, Herring dropped Frampton in the next before Jamie Moore threw the towel in round six.

An emotional Frampton announced his retirement straight after the fight, calling time on a superb career which saw him win world titles at super bantamweight and featherweight.

Scott Quigg, Leo Santa Cruz and Nonito Donaire are some of his standout victories from his 12-year professional career.

As well as being a two-division world champion, Frampton was also Ring Magazine's Fighter of the Year in 2016.

Just over two years after receiving the accolade, the British legend was involved in a Fight of the Year contender against Warrington, only to taste a unanimous decision defeat in Manchester.

Sharing the ring together has only enhanced the pair's mutual respect towards each other and Warrington believes Frampton will be remembered for his glory days, rather than his farewell fight.

"You know what, Jamel put in an unbelievable performance but I don't think Carl will be remembered for that fight," Warrington exclusively told Planet Sport.

"We'll like to think about Carl in his better days when he had his fights with Kiko Martinez, Scott Quigg and Leo Santa Cruz. They were the better fights obviously. I had the honour of sharing the ring with him and we had a barnstormer as well.

"I spoke to Carl on the Sunday, he sent me a message after my fight so I wanted to show a bit of respect and he just said to me that he didn't feel like it was there.

"It felt like he had gone old overnight and Jamel wasn't one of the fastest punchers he had been in there with but just couldn't get out the way.

"It's a horrible way to find it out when you're actually in there. It's sad to see him go out like that but like I say, he's achieved so much in the sport he won't be remembered just for that fight," Warrington added.

Win or bust in September

Warrington has admitted he took his 'eye off the ball' and will follow in the footsteps of Frampton if he tastes defeat for a second time to Mauricio Lara.

The ex-IBF featherweight world champion got stopped in the ninth-round of their February bout and will rematch the Mexican later this year with September 4 the expected date.

A lot is on the line. Victory will see Warrington return into contention of colliding with the likes of Xu Can, Gary Russell Jr. and Emanuel Navarrete.

Defeat, and it could be the end of the road.

"Obviously it's been a long time now. It's been close to eight weeks since it happened and I have had a lot of time to reflect on it and think about it.

"Going over and over it in my head, I can see where there were a few things we could have changed and done differently and it's all hindsight," Warrington said.

"The kid boxed well and took advantage. I strongly believe that any other time we have a rematch, (if I'm) head-focused he's not on my level. It's easy for me to say that and some people will say. 'He's knocked you out, Josh'.

"That is true but has he got the same punch power of a Kiko Martinez, Hisashi Amagasa or Carl Frampton? I don't think so. Has he got the same boxing ability as Carl Frampton or Lee Selby? I don't think so.

"Has he got the same awkwardness or elusiveness of a Kid Galahad? I don't think so.

"I think in the fight I took my eye off the ball and he had a fantastic night. I look forward to getting back in there with him."

Josh Warrington defended his IBF featherweight title three times before vacating it in 2021
Josh Warrington defended his IBF featherweight title three times before vacating it in 2021

Should Lara repeat his performance, Warrington will weigh-up his future inside the ring.

"It's going to be f****** hard to go down any other road if I can't get through this one.

"I don't want to go back down to domestic level or European level. I want to be fighting the likes of Can Xu, Gary Russell and Emmanuel Navarette. I still think I have what it takes to beat them guys.

"I'm not putting pressure on my shoulders by saying if I get beat I'll retire but at the same breath, you can't be mixing at world level if you can't get through someone like Lara."

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