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Warrington facing Lara in a ‘Career-saver’ fight says Eddie Hearn

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By William Lloyd: Josh Warrington has a risky “career-saver” fight this Saturday night against his former conqueror Mauricio Lara in a crucial 12 round main event fight at the Headingley Rugby League Stadium in Leeds. DAZN will broadcast the entire fight card.

The former IBF featherweight champion Warrington (30-1, 7 KOs) was annihilated in nine rounds by the unheralded 23-year-old Lara (23-2, 16 KOs) in their first clash on February 13th in London.

Now, it’s critical for Warrington, 30, to avenge his loss if he wants to save his career. He insists that he had no other option but to face Lara again because it was the type of defeat he couldn’t walk away from.

Moreover, Lara wasn’t a big enough name for Warrington to ignore after the defeat the way he could have if he’d lost to a world champion like Gary Russell Jr. or Emanuel Navarrete.

Hearn believes this fight is the biggest moment of Warrington’s career because it’s about saving it.

Before, when Warrington fought Carl Frampton and Lee Selby, he didn’t have his career on the line for those fights because they were big enough names for him to absorb a loss and continue going. Against the beltless, twice-beaten Lara, it could be an endgame for Warrington if he loses to him a second time.

Lara believes he has Warrington’s number

“This Saturday, you’re going to see what we’re bringing you in every single show,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on the Lara vs. Warrington card in Leeds.

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“This is a high-end product. It’s just a fight that you’re going to watch through your fingers because you know what happened last time,” Hearn said in alluding to Warrington getting knocked out in the ninth round by Lara last February.

“Josh, as smart as he will be in this fight, will engage and will be warfare and battle. When he does that, it’ll be very dangerous against Mauricio Lara because Lara believes he’s got his number,” said Hearn.

With the way he fights, we always knew that Warrington’s career would come to an abrupt halt sooner.

Surprisingly, he was able to last this long in the sport and have a lot of success with his straight-ahead, face-first fighting style.

Had Hearn matched Warrington a little tougher against guys like Navarrete, Russell Jr., and Leo Santa Cruz, he likely would have already reached this stage where his career is ready for the dust heap.

Hearn: Warrington is a different fighter now

“I’ll tell you something now. Josh Warrington is a different fighter than he was in the bubble at that time [against Lara],” said Hearn.

“He looks different, he’s more focused, and he’s in unbelievable shape. I’ve sent him a couple of messages in the last couple of weeks, and he’s [Warrington] said to be a couple of days ago, ‘It’s a different night on Saturday.’

“And in front of his people [in Leeds], this is it. This is probably the biggest moment of his career.

I know beating Selby, but this is like a career-saver right here, and it’s an absolute must-win for him. It’s dangerous. And it’s ballsy. It’s gutsy. He’s [Warrington] gone straight back in.

“He didn’t want any other warm-up fight. I said to him, ‘We could do a little 10-rounder and then maybe Mauricio Lara?’ ‘No, I have to avenge this defeat,’ and he deserves a lot of credit.

“It’s going to be full of tension throughout the whole fight. The atmosphere is going to be absolutely electric, and I’m bricking it, to be honest with you, on behalf of Josh Warrington.

“I think a lot of British fans are because it’s like [risky]. Lara is a serious dude. It’s probably a guy, Lara, that has never really had that much confidence.

“All of a sudden, I think he feels unbeatable he’s going to be really dangerous,” said Hearn.

It’s improbable that Warrington will be any different in the rematch with Lara on Saturday night than he was last February.

It won’t be a surprise if we see Warrington staying on the outside, boxing smart on Saturday night, trying to avoid a tear up as best as he can with Lara.

That’s probably not going to work because Lara was able to hit Warrington just fine when he was at the range, and he was landing some vicious long-range shots.




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