By Huck Allen: WBA ‘regular’ featherweight champion Leigh Wood will be taking what could be a tough fight against former Josh Warrington conqueror Mauricio Lara on September 24th on DAZN at the Nottingham Arena in Nottingham.
You’ve got to give Wood credit for choosing Lara as his next title defense, as he could have selected a ham-&-egger and made sure that he wins.
On the other hand, it makes sense for Wood to fight Lara because the Mexican slugger is well known after blasting out Warrington and arguably getting the shaft in their rematch. Lara is the type of opponent that could be a step too far for Wood, who is basically a slugger.
As long as Wood doesn’t resort to the illegal straight arm that he employed for his win over Xu Can last year, we should see an interesting fight.
The 34-year-old Wood is coming off a grueling 12th round knockout win over a surprisingly good Michael Conlan last March. Leigh was forced to rally to pull out the win in the championship rounds after getting worked over by Conlan in the first eight rounds.
We don’t know how much that brutal war took out of Wood. He was dropped in the first round by Conlan and would have been finished off if the Irishman had the kind of power that Mauricio Lara has been blessed with.
Wood can’t afford to get into a firefight against the much younger 24-year-old Lara (26-2, 17 KOs), as he punches harder than him and is a bigger puncher than anyone he’s faced thus far during his career. Unless Wood is going to try and take Lara out with head-butts, as we saw Josh Warrington do in their rematch.
Lara, 24, stopped Warrington in the ninth round in their first fight in February 2021. Then in their rematch, Warrington clashed heads repeatedly with Lara, cutting his face and causing the bout to be halted after two rounds.
The fight was ruled a technical draw, but many boxing fans felt that Lara won both rounds due to the heavy shots he was nailing Warrington with.
#2 WBO, #3 IBF Lara is coming off a third-round knockout of Emilio Sanchez last March in San Diego. The way that Lara took out Sanchez.
In the undercard, lightweight contender Maxi Hughes will battle former IBF featherweight champion Kid Galahad.