Teddy Atlas says Mauricio Lara would have been robbed by the judges if he didn’t KO Leigh Wood

By Boxing News - 02/21/2023 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Teddy Atlas says he thinks the judges would have robbed visiting fighter Mauricio Lara if he had not taken things into his own hands by flattening WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood with a massive left hook to the head in the seventh round last Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England.

With the way three judges were scoring the fight, all in favor of Wood (26-3, 16 KOs), Atlas believes that Lara (26-2-1, 19 KOs) would have ultimately been robbed if he didn’t drop the British fighter.

The judge’s scores:

  • 59-55 – No words
  • 58-56
  • 58-56

Interestingly, Atlas questions the decision by Wood’s corner Ben Davison to throw in the towel after Leigh got back to his feet in the seventh after the knockdown. Atlas thinks that with just 10 seconds left in the round, Lara might not have had enough time to finish Wood.

What would have prevented Lara from finishing the job is that he’d crept up to where the referee was standing, and he have been ordered to the neutral corner before the action could resume.

By the time Lara walked back to his corner and the action resumed, there would have been little more than two seconds left on the clock before the end of the seventh round.

What Atlas suspects is that Davison knew about something that had happened to Wood during training camp, so he wasn’t going to leave him out there after he’d been hurt.

Wood may have been hurt by one or more of his sparring partners during camp, which made it too risky for Davison to leave him out there after he’d been hurt by Lara.

If Wood was hurt one or more times during camp, it’s quite understandable that Davison gave him a short leash because he would have known that he could have gotten seriously hurt.

In Wood’s last fight against Michael Conlan, he was dropped hard in the first round and looked in bad shape with him flat on his back in the same way he was against Lara. After a knockdown like that in the Conlan fight, Wood may not have recovered from it.

Atlas: They were going to rob Lara

“Nottingham, that’s where Robin Hood comes from. That’s where they steal from the rich and give to the poor,” said Teddy Atlas to The Fight, talking about Mauricio Lara’s win over Leigh Wood last Saturday night in Nottingham, England.

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“But over there, where it got stopped at the end of the seventh round, they’ve changed their policy of taking from the rich and giving it to the poor. Now they just steal from anybody that comes over there trying to take a title from the local guy.

“Really, I guess they’ve learned from the rest of boxing, the judging they have in place over there. You rob from the traveling fighter. The house fighter has his strength; the champion has his strength; the home fighter has his strength; and the fighter with the promoter has his strength.

“Obviously, they’ve stayed consistent with that philosophy because they were going to rob the crap out of Lara if his firsts didn’t do the judging for him. When we give you those scorecards, man, it’s a disgrace. Two of them had two points.

“That’s okay, but the other one had it like a shutout just about. Not quite, but he had it really huge in favor of Wood, who was fighting a great fight, but it became controversial at the end, there’s no doubt about it.

“Nottingham, no longer where they steal from the rich and give to the poor. Now they just steal from anybody who comes over there with a title. They just take it from them, or they make sure they never get it unless they do it themselves with their own bare fists, and that’s exactly what Mr. Lara did.

“It’s controversial in that maybe his own guy [Ben Davison] shouldn’t have stopped it. You can make an argument that he stopped it too early,  especially with only seconds left in the round. Give him a chance to go back to his corner. You still got the option to stop it in the corner if he don’t look right to you. You can still do that, but when you stop it with ten seconds left, you take away that option,” Atlas said.

Was Leigh Wood hurt in training camp?

“Davison knows his guy [Wood] better than you or me and the fans,” said Atlas. “He was in camp with him for eight weeks. Maybe something happened, or maybe he’s aware of some info that we’re not aware of. He’s privy to information that we’re not, and he’s there.

“He’s seeing what he’s seeing, reacting to it. But at first blush, maybe you could have waited 10 seconds. By the time they separated them because Lara had snuck up really close, looking to jump on him.

“The referee would have had to send him back to his neutral corner. That would have killed another three or four seconds. By the time they separated him and sent him back to his corner, there might have been five seconds.

“By the time he [Lara] walked across the ring, there might have been two seconds left. Could he land a devastating punch in two, yes, it’s possible? But outside of that, I’m confused by Davison stopping it.

“If it happens with a minute left in the round, I’m with you. If it happens with two minutes, whatever. Maybe even with 30 or 40 seconds maybe. But with ten seconds and the scenario I just described by the time they separate them and he walks back, he might literally be two seconds left.

“Get him in the corner, revive him, see how he reacts. Let the doctor look at him. Look at his pupils, look at his eyes. See if he’s there with you and if he’s recovered enough, and then you make a decision then. You can always stop it, you can stop it there and let him go out and see how he does.

“Anyway, you can’t do any of that now because of the decision Ben Davison made by putting the finality on it by stopping the fight,” said Atlas.