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Josh Warrington still haunted by loss to Mauricio Lara

Josh Warrington

By William Lloyd: Josh Warrington is still haunted by his previous loss to Mexican slugger Mauricio Lara earlier this year on February 13th in London, but he’s finally getting a shot at attaining revenge this Saturday night on September 4th at the Headingley Rugby League Stadium, in Leed.

A huge crowd of 20,000 fans is expected to turn up on Saturday night in Leeds to root the 30-year-old former IBF featherweight champion Warrington (30-1, 7 KOs) against Lara (23-2, 16 KOs).

The ramifications of this fight are obvious. Warrington’s career hangs in the balance for this clash, as he cannot absorb another loss like the one he suffered against Lara seven months ago in February.

Another knockout defeat for Warrington will likely be the end game for him, as it would mean that he won’t be getting another world title shot unless it’s thrown to him like a bone by WBA 126-lb champion Leigh Wood or perhaps Kid Galahad if he captures the IBF belt.

Warrington views himself as more than just a simple domestic-level fighter at featherweight, but if he loses to the 23-year-old Lara a second time, that might be all he has left.

It’s unrealistic to assume that Warrington could defeat WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr or WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete.

Josh Warrington

Even when Warrington’s career was humming along, firing on all eight cylinders, he would have likely been over his head against Russell Jr., Shakur Stevenson [before he moved up to 130], and Navarrete.

Lara had Warrington badly hurt

“I’ve never been shaken like that, and I’ve been in against some big punchers and been hit clean. This was like nothing else,” said Warrington to the TheGuardian in reflecting on his loss to Mauricio Lara.

“I won the fifth, probably the sixth too. He won the next two rounds, but he was breathing heavy, and I thought, ‘I’m still in this.’ But the truth is that my punch resistance had gone. By the time we got to the ninth round, I felt like I were in with Mike Tyson.

“He caught me again, and I’ve gone over. I’m looking up at the lights, and I can hear the count: ‘One, two…’ I’ve gone to sit up, and the ref stopped me, ‘It’s over, Josh.’ I said, ‘Let me get up.’ But it was finished,” said Warrington.

Josh may be kidding himself a bit by assuming that he was knocked out because his punch resistance had disappeared by the seventh round against Lara.

The truth is, Warrington was hurt in the first round by a big left hook from Lara, and it was obvious that he was going to lose if he continued to brawl with the Mexican knockout artist.

Warrington fought reasonably well when he was boxing Lara in rounds 2, 3, 5 & 6, but he looked like a fish out of water. Lara was chasing Warrington around the ring and nailing him with huge shots.

Warrington must stand and fight

To give Warrington any of those rounds would have been difficult because he was getting clobbered by Lara.

It’s hard to give a fighter rounds when they’re mostly moving, throwing pesky shots, and getting tagged by massive shots heaved at them by their more powerful opponents, as we saw in the Warrington vs. Lara fight.

If Warrington wants to win his rematch with Lara on Saturday, he’s going to need to be able to stand his ground a certain amount of time and land meaningful power shots. It can’t be Lara chasing Warrington, hitting him with mighty blows, and getting hit with weak jabs or punches thrown on the back foot.

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