Leigh Wood vs. Mauricio Lara rematch could have quick turnaround

By Boxing News - 02/22/2023 - Comments

By Sam Volz: Eddie Hearn says Leigh Wood will need to have a quick turnaround if he wants to fight an immediate rematch with Mauricio Lara. Wood, 34, will only be able to rest briefly before returning to the gym to start training to face Lara in May.

The City Ground in Nottingham has an opening for May, and that would be when former WBA featherweight champion Wood (26-3, 16 KOs) would need to face Lara (26-2-1, 19 KOs) if he wants the immediate rematch to try and avenge his seventh round knockout loss from last Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena.

The other option available to Leigh would be to let Lara face Josh Warrington first and then fight the winner in September. That way, Wood can have a longer rest to recover from his knockout before fighting whoever emerges from that fight as the WBA 126-lb champion.

The downside of Wood choosing to wait is he’ll have to live with the memory of his loss for the next seven months before he finally gets a chance to avenge the defeat potentially.

However, if Warrington defeats Lara, Wood won’t get a chance to avenge his loss to Mauricio until next year if he chooses to try and do that.

Of course, Wood can always forget about Lara and choose to give up on the idea of revenge, and focus on fighting other opposition that doesn’t possess the kind of power that he has.

Wood-Lara will have quick turnaround

“No one is in a better place to make the decision than Ben [Davison],” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social about trainer Ben Davison stopping the fight with nine seconds remaining after he’d been dropped in the seventh round by Mauricio Lara Saturday night.

“Leigh will be in on Monday with Ben, and we’ll talk through it,” said Hearn about a potential rematch with Wood and Lara.“It’ll be a fairly quick turnaround with the rematch, but he can have a little rest.

“There’s also the option to have Lara have another fight, but you’re contractually set to fight the winner, and he [Wood] might lack that because it’ll give him more time to recover, or he might say, ‘No,’ I want to go straight back in.’ So whatever he wants to do we’re behind.

“I know he got beat by a stoppage, but I thought he boxed great,” Hearn continued about the 34-year-oldĀ  Wood. “I think his stock has gone up again, and I think Leigh’s in a good position with great fights ahead.

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“It could do,” Hearn said when asked if Wood will choose to fight Lara in an immediate rematch at the City Grounds Stadium in Nottingham. “It’s all about timing. They [the City Grounds] are going to want that in May. It’s a very fast turnaround after a fight like that.

“Forest,” said Hearn about the Forest Ground [aka City Ground] wanting the Wood vs. Lara rematch to take place by May. “You only get so many dates to be able to do it, so we have to look at it.

“Or we could let him [Lara] fight in May and do the next one in September. Leigh is obviously going to want to look at the options with Ben and decide what he wants to do.

Lara spitting after the fight

“I don’t like spitting, really,” said Hearn about Lara spitting on Josh Warrington after the fight last Saturday night in Nottingham. “Spitting, I’m not a fan. I’m not a fan. I didn’t know he spat at him until I saw the footage and I saw those interviews.

“I think if I said to Mauricio Lara, ‘I’m not pleasantly happy about you’re spitting at Josh Warrington.’ He’d think, ‘F**k off, you toss pot,’ because he’s a bad man. That’s the reality. He’s a handful. He’s from a rough neighborhood; he’s a bad mother f***ker.

“Unfortunately, he’s going to behave in ways probably where normal people wouldn’t. He’s a fighter, he’s just won a world title, and he has a lot of emotion toward Josh Warrington. He hates him for some reason. Warrington hates him.

“I certainly don’t condone ever spitting at somebody, regardless of what you’re about to do or what you’ve done. Possibly or Headingley possibly,” said Hearn when asked if he would consider staging the Lara vs. Warrington trilogy match in Leeds at Ellen Road.

“Again, subject to dates, but until we’ve spoken to Leigh and it would have to be attractive to Leigh to do that,” said Hearn.