Home Boxing News Leigh Wood and Mauricio Lara set to collide on February 18

Leigh Wood and Mauricio Lara set to collide on February 18

WBA featherweight champion Leigh ‘Leigh-thal’ Wood 26-2 (16) will defend his crown against big-punching Mexican Mauricio ‘Bronco’ Lara 25-2-1 (18) at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England on February 18.

The 34-year-old Brit is coming off back-to-back 12th round knockouts of quality opposition. In July 2021 he wrested the WBA ‘regular’ title from China’s Xu Can 18-4 (3) in a fight he was leading at the time of the knockout. Last March he rose from the canvas to score a come from behind knockout of Michael Conlan, sending him through the ropes with just 1:35 to go in a Knockout of the Year candidate.

“Mauricio Lara has made things personal between us with the disrespect he showed me regarding my injury and my country,” said Wood. “I’m going to show him what I’m all about. See you on February 18 Nottingham – and still!”

Lara, 24, burst onto the world stage when he knocked out the highly regarded Josh Warrington 32-2-1 (8) in nine frames at Wembley Arena in London in February 2021, giving him his first loss. He was unable to replicate that performance in their immediate rematch seventh months later as the bout was stopped prematurely due to a cut Lara suffered from an accidental clash of heads. He has since scored a brace of third round knockouts against Emilio Sanchez 19-2 (12) and Jose Sanmartin 346-6-1 (21).

“I have been waiting for this opportunity for two years and I am not going to waste it,” said Lara. “In February 2021 I beat Warrington in England, now in 2023 I will do the same with Wood. The WBA 126lbs world title goes to Mexico, that I promised to my daughter, my family, my team and to my whole country. Your time has come Leigh Wood, no ‘injury’ can save you now from this.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn promised an action-packed affair and it’s hard to argue the fight will be anything but with these two aggressive boxers.

“Quite simply this is a fight that you have to watch through your fingers,” the Matchroom Sport chairman said. “After the drama of the Conlan fight last March, Leigh Wood is about to bring another night of drama to the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham against the brutal, fearless and much avoided Mauricio Lara. This fight leads Leigh to the City Ground in the summer but first get ready for an epic main event and all action card as we gear up for another FOTY contender in Nottingham on February 18.”

“What a fight this is to kick off the Matchroom UK schedule in 2023,” said Joe Markowski, CEO DAZN North America. “Both Wood and Lara are incapable of being involved in anything other than brutal, toe-to-toe, edge of your seat fights and I for one cannot wait for February 18. Watch this barnstormer live and exclusive on DAZN.”