Josh Warrington has been kicking his heels, waiting to find out what his future holds, and it seems like the two-time IBF featherweight titleholder is on the verge of receiving the news he has been craving.

Warrington (31-3-1, 8 KOs) hasn’t boxed since his controversial stoppage loss to former WBA 126-pound titleholder Leigh Wood last October.

After dominating the first six rounds of the fight, Warrington was dropped by a stunning combination from the never-say-die Wood. As referee Michael Alexander counted, Warrington got to his feet, made his way back to his corner and looked out over the ropes. He turned around to see Alexander waving the fight off.

The exciting fight and contentious manner of the finish created the ideal environment for a return, and relations between the two fighters have deteriorated over the past seven months, adding further fuel to the fire. When Wood relinquished his title and stated his intention to move up to the junior lightweight division after the fight, Warrington, 33, quickly agreed to follow him.

Given the public interest generated by this weekend’s rematch between former undisputed junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall, it would appear that a return between Wood and Warrington would be an easy sell. But until now, a deal had proven impossible to strike.

On Wednesday evening, however, Warrington took to Instagram to post a video with his promoter, Eddie Hearn.

“We are currently in negotiations for Josh Warrington against Leigh Wood II,” Hearn said. “Leigh has had an injury. We wanted to make the fight in July; we’re now trying to make the fight for the end of August. He’s talking to Ben Davison, seeing if he’s going to be ready for then. Hopefully it lands in August, but that’s the fight we want to make. I believe we have a deal in principle now with Leigh Wood; we know we’ve got one with [Warrington]. It’s one of the biggest fights in British boxing. Boxing’s flying and we want to make it happen. News soon."

Earlier in the day, Warrington told BoxingScene that although settling the score with Wood remains his priority and preferred choice, he had begun to cast his eye over the whole of the junior lightweight scene.

Last weekend Warrington was an interested observer as Anthony Cacace ripped the IBF junior lightweight title away from Joe Cordina. Cacace has a dangerous mandatory challenger in Mexican knockout artist Eduardo “Sugar” Nunez, but Warrington would welcome a future fight with the Northern Irishman.

“I’d fight Cacace, no problem,” Warrington said. “He pulled out a great performance, didn’t he? The opportunity was there, and he bit down on his gumshield, showed a lot of grit, a lot of determination and a lot of fitness, and got it done.

“I’d lick my lips for that one.”