IBF Featherweight champion Josh Warrington defends his title against 33-year-old Frenchman Sofiane Takoucht at the First Direct Arena in Warrington's hometown, Leeds on October 12th. The fight will be shown live in the United Kingdom on BT Sports and in the USA by ESPN.
Presumably, Takoucht has received this shot at the title due to his April 2017 win over Alexander Cazares (14-8-0) for the IBF's vacant International featherweight title. The Frenchman has defended his title just once with a majority points win over Sergio Prado (13-7-2).
Takoucht lost for the French 126lb title back in 2009 against recent world super-featherweight title challenger Guillaume Frenois and to Alexander Miskirtchian for the EBU crown before venturing to Celano, Italy and winning the Continental crown at the second attempt from Davide Dieli. The first and only defence of his EBU title ended in a technical decision draw with Spaniard Ivan Ruiz Morote. A second loss to Belgian Alexander Miskirtchian in a non-title fight in Belgium appears to have ended his European title aspirations.
Takoucht has been on an 8 fight winning streak since his 2nd loss to Miskirtchian, including his two IBF international title wins. The quality of his opposition has not been of the highest order but good enough for the IBF to place the Frenchman at #4 in their rankings.
In Warrington, Takoucht will be meeting a champion at the top of his game. Consecutive wins over Lee Selby, Carl Frampton and Kid Galahad have seen the Leeds battler become rated as one of the top featherweights in the world. Before that, Warrington had taken the scalps of Dennis Ceylan, Kiko Martinez, and Patrick Hyland. Only unification fights will take Warrington's career to a higher plain.
The Leeds faithful that turn out for each and every Josh Warrington fight, will once again create a wonderful atmosphere, and excitement that seems to lift Warrington to greater heights. Takoucht might never have experienced this sort of event before now, in fact, he almost certainly won't have.
Prediction: Josh Warrington to force a stoppage before the 10th round.