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Mauricio Lara vs. Jose Sanmartin live on DAZN

Image: Mauricio Lara vs. Jose Sanmartin live on DAZN

By Charles Brun: Featherweight contender Mauricio Lara will face Jose Sanmartin at 8 p.m. ET in a 10 round fight this Saturday night in the main event of a Matchroom Boxing card live on DAZN at the Plaza de Toros, in Mexico City. The main event ring walks are scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET.

Lara (24-2-1, 17 KOs) had been scheduled to challenge WBA ‘regular’ featherweight champion Leigh Wood, but unfortunately, he pulled out of the fight due to an arm injury.

Some boxing fans believe Wood wasn’t injured. He just wanted to avoid getting knocked out by Lara, who is much younger and hits harder. With Wood’s wide-open slugging style, he would have been begging for trouble against Lara had he not been injured.

Last Friday, Lara weighed in at 127.4 lbs, while the Colombian Sanmartin (33-5-1, 21 KOs) weighed in at 126.6 lbs.

Sanmartin is more or less the token lamb for Lara to slaughter on Saturday night. As I said, Lara would be fighting Wood for his secondary WBA 126-lb title, but the injury caused the fight’s cancellation.

Although Hearn says Wood is planning on defending against Lara, that’s hard to believe. Woods wants to fight WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz and IBF strap holder Josh Warrington.

Sanmartin has losses to these fighters: Emanuel Navarrete, Tomas Rojas, Luis Melendez, Carlos Zambrano, and Hugo Berrio. Navarrete knocked Sanmartin out in the 12th round in 2018.

The fact that Sanmartin could make it to the 12th against a puncher like Navarrete says a lot about his chin.

Lara is coming off a third round knockout win over Emilio Sanchez. Before that,  Lara was given a raw deal in his rematch with Josh Warrington last year in September in Leeds, UK.

It appeared to many boxing fans that Warrington intentionally clashed heads with Lara to open a big cut, which resulted in the fight being stopped after two rounds and ruled a second round technical draw.

However, Lara dominated both rounds with his power punches, so the judges scoring it a draw was a very, very questionable move. The only thing Warrington was effective with in that fight was leading with his head and crashing into Lara repeatedly.

Interestingly, Warrington chose not to reschedule the fight with Lara. Obviously, it would look bad if another fight between them resulted in Lara being cut from Warrington ramming him.

Lara would likely knock Warrington out again as he did in their first meeting in February 2021.

“I think Mauricio Lara is one of the most dangerous pound-for-pound fighters in boxing,” said Eddie Hearn to BetOnline-ag about this Saturday’s fight on DAZN between featherweight Mauricio Lara and Jose Sanmartin.

“I’m sure he had his flaws. He came from a really rough run-up on the streets of Mexico City. The amazing thing about boxing is it sometimes shows you that fighter never get their opportunity. You never actually get to see how good they are.

“Mauricio Lara was the guy that had a couple of decisions go against him. He might not have ever got a chance to fight at the world level and probably would have had another two or three years, and you would never have heard of him again.

“Unfortunately for Josh Warrington and us at the time, we picked Mauricio Lara as really a tune-up. It was a terrible decision, really, for the management team and everything.

“There was nothing on Mauricio Lara’s record or tape that showed you that this guy could be the #1 fighter at 126. He went, and he stopped [Josh Warrington]. It was behind closed doors, but what on earth is a real gem in Mauricio Lara?

“He’s a guy that will fight anyone, a guy that is in an entertaining fight after entertaining fight. This weekend, he’s in his home city of Mexico City. So it’s a great opportunity for him, whether it’s Leigh Wood, whether it’s Josh Warrington after that. This guy is box office. He’s a real box office fighter.

“What I mean by that is he’s a show-stopper. Every time you put him out there, this guy entertains. There are still some unknowns about Mauricio Lara. So when you talk about the value in betting, the value in this fight if you’re betting Lara, how long can this fight last?

“If you’re looking for any kind of value, Sanmartin is a seasoned pro. He went 12 rounds in a really good fight against Navarrete, and he’s coming off seven straight wins.

“Mauricio Lara was expected to fight Leigh Wood. He wants the big fights, so how motivated is he? So, you really aren’t betting on a Mauricio Lara victory in this fight as an outright. You’re looking at round betting; you’re looking at stoppages; you’re looking at points.

“Sanmartin is tough, but Lara is going to come out. Can he blitz him? Lara starts so fast. San Martin is no mug. It’s a difficult one to bet on because of the price. There are still some unanswered questions about Mauricio Lara, and we’ll see if Sanmartin can find them,” said Hearn.

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