Mauricio Lara vs. Josh Warrington 2 on Sept.4 in Leeds, UK
By Charles Brun: In a move that some would say is foolhardy, former IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington will be facing his former conqueror Mauricio Lara in a rematch on September 4th on DAZN at Headingley Stadium in Leeds, England. Josh could be asking for trouble choosing to fight Lara (22-2, 15 KOs) again after what happened to him last February.
ESPN is reporting the news of Warrington (30-1, 7 KOs) facing Lara in September in a rematch in his hometown of Leeds. Female lightweight champion Katie Taylor will be fighting on the card, making a title defense.
One positive that Warrington will have going for him in the rematch with Lara is that he’ll be fighting in front of a large crowd of 20,000 in his hometown of Leeds.
Warrington fights well when battling in front of his fans, who motivate him to slug it out.
As one would guess, it’s not the smartest thing Warrington can do to brawl with a fighter like Lara. In that case, Josh fighting Lara at home in Leeds would be the worst thing he could do.
In a huge upset, the heavy-handed 23-year-old Mexican power puncher Lara (22-2, 15 KOs) massacred Warrington in nine rounds earlier this year on February 13th at the Wembley Arena.
Going into this fight, this was supposed to be a gimme for the 30-year-old Warrington over the little-known fringe contender Lara, who had been twice during his career by weaker opposition.
Lara had never shown any hints of being able to do what he did to Warrington. In other words, Lara was picked out to give Warrington a sure-thing win, and boy did it turn out to be the wrong move.
Needless to say, Warrington will be putting his career on the line by fighting Lara again. Warrington’s brawling style is ideal for the slugger Lara, and we may see an identical outcome in the rematch.
For Warrington to have a better shot at beating Lara, he would need to change his fighting style by becoming a boxer, which isn’t something he’ll be able to do overnight.
Lara vs. Warrington II will be promoted by Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing company. Hearn signed Warrington to a five-fight deal in 2020, and in his first fight for his company, he was smashed by the unheralded Mauricio Lara in nine rounds.
It’s unknown if Hearn has the ability to sever his contract with Warrington early if he gets beaten again. One would think that there’s an early release option for Hearn if Warrington gets destroyed a second time.
It would obviously be something for Hearn to consider because a second loss for Warrington would essentially be game over for him as a top guy.
Some boxing fans maintain that the fight should have been stopped as early as the fourth round when Lara put Warrington down hard on the canvas.
When Warrington got up, he looked like he was in no shape to continue. From that point on, Lara repeatedly hurt Warrington, seemingly with every shot he threw, knocking him down in the fourth and ninth.
The fight looked like a train wreck with the way Warrington was getting pummeled by Lara, who looked younger, bigger, stronger, and better.
It was like watching a replay of a young George Foreman destroying heavyweight champion Joe Frazier. At the time of the fight, Foreman was too big, strong, and young for Frazier.
Warrington made a confusing move by giving up his IBF 126-lb title last February when he had the opportunity to fight Kid Galahad in a rematch.
The idea was that Warrington wanted to get ready to challenge WBA secondary featherweight champion Can Xu or his title.
It seemed like an utterly bizarre move for Warrington to give up his IBF strap to face the ‘regular’ WBA champion Xu rather than the main WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz. Fighting Galahad again was the obvious move Warrington should have taken, but he decided to go in a different direction.
Warrington’s goal of fighting Can Xu was shattered by Lara, who stopped him in nine rounds.
If Lara defeats Warrington again, it could set up a fascinating title shot against WBO featherweight champion Emanuel Navarette. Now that would be an interesting war because Navaretee can punch, and he’s got an all-out fighting style that would make for an exciting fight against a slugger like Lara.
Warrington has past victories over these well-known fighters:
- Carl Frampton
- Kid Galahad
- Lee Selby
As good as those wins were, Frampton and Selby were arguably dealing with weight issues when they fought Warrington. Most would agree that Frampton and Selby weren’t at their best when Josh fought them. Warrington’s win over Galahad was razor-close and hardly a dominating performance.
Those wins showed how short-lived success and fame could be in the sport of boxing. One moment you’re at the top of your game after beating Frampton and Selby, and the next, you’re little more than fodder for the young gun Mauricio Lara.
If Warrington loses to Lara on September 4th, there’s going to be a lot of second-guessing about his decision to press forward with the rematch rather than changing directions.
Personally, it’s a foolish move on Warrington’s part to go steaming back into a second fight with Lara without taking three or four tune-ups to prepare for it.
Warrington needs to change his fighting style to have a better chance of success against Lara. Unfortunately, that’s not easy to do overnight, particularly without getting real-life experience in fights.
Many promoters would put their foot down and not allow Warrington to fight Lara right away, but Hearn is going to let him go ahead with his wacky idea.
If this blows up in Warrington’s face with him getting destroyed a second time, it’ll be a good learning tool for Hearn. You can’t let fighters shoot themselves in the foot.
Warrington needed to change his fighting style a long, long time well, well before he ran into Lara. His slugging style was wrong for him because he has no punching power and was winning fights on volume punching.
Warrington was getting away with it because he wasn’t fighting huge punchers who were at their best. But one could easily see that once Warrington got in there with a guy with power and youth, it would be game over for him.
Surprisingly, Warrington made it so far in his career before he was finally found out. We could see Warrington get exposed again by Lara.
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