By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn believes Josh Warrington (30-1-1, 7 KOs) was on his way to beating Mauricio Lara (23-2-1, 16 KOs) and wiping the slate clean when their fight was suddenly cut short after the Mexican warrior suffered a horrendous cut over his left eye in the second round in Leeds last Saturday night.
The cut resulted in the Lara vs. Warrington fight being halted and ruled a second-round technical draw.
Unfortunately for the 20,000 boxing fans that showed up to root Warrington to victory at the Headingley Stadium, they went home disappointed at seeing the fight play out.
It didn’t appear that Warrington was on his way to victory because he was taking heavy punishment in the second round from Lara. The way things looked, the fight appeared to be playing out much like the first one had last February in London, England.
Lara was taking huge shots to the body and head, and the punches were moving him. Each time Lara would land, you could hear the noise, and Warrington didn’t look like he was enjoying himself.
Lara’s cut was caused by a clash of heads, which came from Warrington diving forward with his head like a battering ram. To many boxing fans, it looked like Warrington was trying to cut Lara.
If that was Warrington’s strategy, it’s unknown the idea was to cut Lara early so he couldn’t fight effectively or to have the contest stopped to avoid another knockout.
Charles Brun believes Warrington tried to get out of the fight as quickly as possible to avoid being knocked out by Lara.
Lara couldn’t continue after cut opened
“The second round, it got so exciting after the clash of heads because Lara feared that his cut was opening up. Josh Warrington knew under four rounds there would be no decision,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN on the Lara vs. Warrington fight.
“I would have loved to have seen at least another round. I’ll be honest with you. The cut was absolutely horrific. I didn’t think it was when he [Lara] went back to his corner.
“I also felt like Lara was looking for a way out of the fight. They called the doctor in, but the cut was absolutely horrific, and unfortunately, there was no way he could continue.
“The atmosphere was so good, and the ring walk was one of the best I’d ever seen. I wanted to see more rounds.
“That’s never happened to me before in a main event, and I’m gutted for Josh. People came out tonight and had a great night, but we really wanted to see that fight unfold because it was build up to be a thriller,” said Hearn.
With Lara’s cut, there was no chance he could continue after the second round ended.
Even if Lara were allowed to keep fighting, it would have been dangerous for him to continue to fight with that type of cut.
The way Warrington was leading with his head, Lara likely would have been cut even worse, and the fight would have been stopped immediately.
When you got a fighter leading with their head the way Warrington was tonight, it’s impossible to avoid being cut if the referee isn’t doing his job properly to warn, penalize or disqualify.
It’s pretty clear that Warrington’s main weapon tonight was his head, and he did a good job with his head-butting.
He should have been penalized right away, and maybe that would have saved the fight, but the referee was hanging around watching without being proactive to police the fouling.
Warrington unimpressed by Lara
“He said to me, ‘I couldn’t believe he beat me,'” said Hearn when asked what Warrington told him after the fight.
“He [Warrington] said, ‘I was thinking. Lara could punch, but I couldn’t believe he knocked me out. I felt so good in there, so comfortable,'” said Hearn in talking what Warrington told him after the fight.
“You could see that as the fight unfolded, but in the second round, he [Warrington] started to hold his feet a little bit more and trade, which is really the things they didn’t want him to do in this fight, but he felt comfortable,” said Hearn about Warrington.
“I felt he looked really fresh in body, spirit, and face. I really believed he’d win the fight tonight, and I still believe he would have done, but we don’t know that now.
“One thing that we know is he has a big future ahead of him still,” said Hearn on Warrington. “I’d still love to do that fight again. I think he’d love to do that fight because he’d like to wipe the slate clean,” said Hearn.
There could be wishful thinking on Hearn’s part in believing that Warrington still has a great future ahead of him. He’d be competitive against Kid Galahad, but it’s doubtful that he’d beat him.
That’s the fight that Hearn will likely be attempting to make next for Warrington.
Hearns will not do something crazy like throw Warrington in with WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr., WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete because they’d embarrass him.
The only vulnerable champion at 126 that Warrington has any chance of being competitive with is Kid Galahad, who has no power and is a high-volume puncher.
Warrington stay busy while Lara heals
“There other options out there for Josh Warrington,” continued Hearn. “We’ll see how long Mauricio Lara takes to heal up. I’d like to get Josh Warrington back in the ring as soon as possible. He’s fresh. He did two rounds tonight.
“I don’t know where that will be, but that cut is going to take months to heal. Lara is going to be out for six months. I’d like to see Josh back in the ring.
“If that’s possible, we’ll do it, and then we’ll look to do that third fight in early next year. It’s always going to be a tremendous fight with Josh and Mauricio Lara.
“Originally, the Josh Warrington fight wasn’t one that Josh wanted to entertain,” said Hearn. “Kid Galahad went out on his own path and did unbelievably well.
“He won the world championship himself [by beating Jazza Dickens]. Does Josh Warrington want to have another go there.
“Does Kid Galahad want to give him the opportunity? I don’t know. You talked to him in the studio. He’s in such a brilliant position now, and he’s looking for those big fights.
“He’ll be out in Sheffield in November. For Josh Warrington, the options are there.
“I always felt that Josh had been a featherweight for a long, long time. Is there the opportunity to move up to super featherweight to face one of the champions there? I don’t know.
“I think he’ll still want to have that Mauricio Lara fight. Having shared those two rounds with him tonight, I think he’ll believe he can beat him and should have beaten him the first time.
“I want to see him back out and active. There’s no reason now why he should wait until early next year to fight.
“Josh Warrington, even without the victory, I feel like he’d back on the horse here right now,” said Hearn.
It’s doubtful that Warrington will ever fight Mauricio Lara again, especially if he loses to Galahad next or somebody else. If Warrington gets beaten at the end of the way, he’ll likely retire.
There would be no interest in seeing Warrington fight Lara again if Josh is beaten in December by somebody like Galahad.
Devin Haney next for Maxi Hughes?
“I can’t believe that fight went past that round. Fair play to Staffon,” said Hearn about Jovanni Staffon making it out of the fifth round after getting badly hurt by Maxi Hughes.
“Maxi Hughes was sensational. They wound me up a little bit because I mentioned Staffon as an opponent for Devin Haney.
“Then in the changing room after, they said, ‘Maxi vs. Devin Haney.’ It’s a big step up [for Hughes], but this is a guy that defies the odds time and time again.
“I thought he boxed absolutely beautiful tonight. He really did,” Hearn said.
It’s extremely doubtful that Hearn will attempt to put a fight together between Devin Haney and Maxi Hughes.
For one, Haney wouldn’t take the fight as Hughes isn’t well known in the U.S, and the match wouldn’t do anything for him. It would help Hughes’ career to fight Haney, but he would be easily beaten, and Devin would waste his time.