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Boxing: Johnny Nelson on the British prospects in the featherweight division

We saw a big upset at the weekend with Gary Russell Jr losing his WBC featherweight title to Mark Magsayo, and the division is one with plenty of domestic interest.

Magsayo won by a razor-close majority decision (114-114, 115-113, 115-113), but Russell Jr gave an excellent account of himself, considering he fought most of the fight one-handed, injuring his shoulder in the fourth.

But the little guys are finally making some noise and putting themselves on the map and it’s nice to see the Brits in the top 10 and the possibility of fighting each other is still strong.

The featherweight division is pretty exciting for British fighters. We have Josh Warrington, Leigh Wood and Kid Galahad. Josh Warrington’s fighting Kiko Martinez who Galahad was knocked out by on home turf.

It was his first defence of that title too, meanwhile Warrington’s already beaten Martinez, so it’s a roundabout.

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I thought eventually Warrington and Galahad would end up fighting each other, but it seemed to be getting further apart. Now we just don’t know.

Will Galahad stay at featherweight or step up? Rumours have it the latter’s the preferred option. Leigh Wood is a former member of the Ingle stable, so he’s very familiar with Galahad.

He was shouting the odds for Galahad to come down to Nottingham and have a fight there and defend his WBA title, but he’s fighting Michael Conlon next.

Regarding Warrington, if I’m honest, I don’t know how the knockout affected him. I know he got the rematch and it was stopped due to a head clash, which won’t happen again, but I did see a few cracks in the Leeds man.

Has it affected his strength, his stability, his punch resistance? We don’t know. I’d expect him to beat Martinez because he’s got an amazing work rate. Martinez can bang but remember he’s older, so it’s about pace.

That’ll be for the IBF title, Wood is defending his WBA title, so where does that leave Galahad?

If you look at the rankings, they have Warrington rated at #3, Wood at #6 and Galahad at #7, so it’s a great mix up there. The WBO champion is Emanuel Navarrete, so it’s interesting, and you could see how the parts can move one way or another, and fingers crossed we’re treated to a blockbuster British clash before the year is out.

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