JOSH WARRINGTON will retire if he loses his rematch with Kiko Martinez, Eddie Hearn said.
Warrington beat the Spaniard en route to the IBF Featherweight title in 2017.
Fast forward almost five years and the pair are back at Leeds’ First Direct Arena – with their careers arguably at stake.
Hearn told Boxing Social: “To be honest if Josh Warrington loses on Saturday night he will retire from boxing.
“Well, that’s a scary thought when you love something.
“Can you imagine that in that interview with me the pressure was on you and this was the last interview that your days of interviewing are over if you didn’t do it right?
“It’s a lot of pressure. Could you handle this pressure? When you love doing something and they say, ‘If you lose this, it’s over.’
“It’s a scary thought because what else are you going to do with your life when you’ve given as much as this?
“These two guys aren’t just fighting for a world title, they want to stick with what they love and that’s why you’re going to have a great fight.”
Warrington, 31, signed with Hearn in hopes of securing a mega fight in the US and vacated his title in return.
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He returned in a behind-closed-doors voting battle in February 2021, knocked out by Mexican underdog Mauricio Lara, 24.
Their September rematch then ended in a no-contest after an accidental cut on Lara.
Meanwhile, Martinez, 36, returned from the brink of defeat in November to take out Kid Galahad, 32.
He again won the world title and set up a previously unthinkable rematch with Warrington.
Hearn said: “Warrington is never in a bad fight, and neither is Kiko.
“I think touch wood we get a brilliant fight, and touch wood everyone comes out healthy.
“I love Kiko but of course I’m cheering for Josh Warrington for the 12,000 mad fans at Leeds but in relation to both, may the best man win.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4976684/josh-warrington-retire-kiko-martinez-rematch-eddie-hearn/ ‘It’s a scary thought’ – Josh Warrington will retire if he loses rematch with Kiko Martinez, promoter Eddie Hearn claims