By Scott Gilfoid: Josh Warrington was ready for a Straitjacket after Mauricio Lara leaned over the ropes and spat directly in his face last Saturday night after doing a job on the local hero Leigh Wood at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England.
Lara (26-2-1, 19 KOs) wasn’t messing around in sending a message to the former IBF featherweight champion Warrington (31-2-1, 8 KOs) that he’s coming for him and intends on sending him into retirement.
There was a whole nest of Warrington fans in attendance the last time they fought, and it would have been a great shame if Lara laid him out pretty on the canvas as he’d done in their first fight in London, England, at the Wembley Arena in February 2021.
The critical question is, will Warrington fight Lara, or will he dodge him, as many believe he’s been doing since their second fight in September 2021?
Warrington should have already fought Lara a third time after he messed things up with his head-butting-plagued fight, but instead, the Leeds native went in another direction, fighting the over-the-hill 36-year-old Kiko Martinez and then Luis Alberto Lopez.
The fact that Warrington hasn’t fought Lara again suggests that he doesn’t fancy the fight, which is reason enough to cast doubt on him suddenly showing interest. Spit or no spit, Warrington might not want to dare enter the ring with Lara a third time and get plastered all over the canvas.
Why Lara hates Warrington
Understandably, Lara has an intense hatred for Warrington after he head-butted him continually in their rematch in September 2021 in Leeds, resulting in him suffering a bad, which led to the contest being halted after two rounds and ruled a draw.
What was particularly sad is Lara got the better of Warrington in both rounds, nailing him repeatedly with headshots on par with the ones that he knocked Leigh Wood down with last Saturday night, yet the judges ruled it a technical draw, believing that Josh had done enough to win one of the two rounds. In rewatching that fight, the judges must have closed their eyes on the night because, as far as I can tell, Warrington came close to winning none of the rounds.
Like many people, Lara believes Warrington intentionally head-butted him to avoid getting knocked out again and temporarily save his career. Look at it this way.
Warrington’s head-butting episode ultimately cost Lara a chance to earn life-changing money for him and his family in Mexico because if the fight had played out, he would have knocked Josh into oblivion and then quickly picked up the IBF belt from the shot to pieces Kiko Martinez.
Who knows how much money Lara lost out on due to Warrington’s head-butting? It wouldn’t be surprising if Lara would be a millionaire by now if this hadn’t happened. As such, it’s perfectly understandable why Lara hates Warrington’s guts because he cost him a lot of money.
What would have made it even worse for Warrington is that he would have been knocked out in front of his fans on the night, as the Lara rematch took place in his hometown at the Headingley Stadium in Leeds.
Mauricio Lara admits spitting on Warrington
“Of course I did,” Maurcio Lara said to iFL TV when he was asked if he spit in the face of Josh Warrington following his seventh round knockout win over WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood last Saturday night. “Because it’s personal between me and him. That’s the way it will always be. Of course, I do [want to fight him again]. I’m after you [Warrington]. I’m coming for you.”
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) February 18, 2023
“People will understand how difficult it is to go out of your country and win a world title,” Lara said when asked if people would appreciate what he accomplished with his win over Wood. “What happens inside the ring is entirely different. There’s respect for him.
“I also told him that whenever he wants it, there’s a house for him in Mexico,” Lara said about the conquered Wood.