Home Boxing News Leigh Wood wants stadium fight after outclassing Mauricio Lara in rematch

Leigh Wood wants stadium fight after outclassing Mauricio Lara in rematch

Leigh Wood (right) and Mauricio Lara in their rematch. Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood 27-3 (16) has demanded that his promoter Eddie Hearn delivers him a stadium fight to close out his career.

The 34-year-old from Nottingham in the United Kingdom regained the world title he lost to Mexico’s Mauricio Lara 26-3-1 (19) with a wide unanimous points decision victory at the AO Arena in Manchester, England on Saturday night.

It was a very different fight from their first encounter three months earlier when Wood was dragged into a firefight in a bout he was leading on all three cards. He was put on the deck by a big punch in the seventh round and his trainer Ben Davison wisely opted to throw in the towel.

Lara, 24, missed weight by almost four pounds for the rematch, coming in a full weight division heavier than Wood. Only Wood was eligible to win the title, but some people questioned whether he should have proceeded with the bout given the weight discrepancy.

It was always going to be a gamble, but in this case it paid off.

Wood was simply the classier boxer on the night, while Lara looked sluggish in turning in his worst showing since bursting onto the global stage with a ninth-round knockout of former IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington two years ago.

Lara visited the canvas in the second round courtesy of an uppercut, while Wood was cut over the eye in the third from an unintentional clash of heads. Wood cruised to victory after that, controlling the fight with his jab and staying away from Lara’s vaunted power.

According to Compubox, Wood outlanded Lara in every round. And even though Lara threw 17 more power shots through the 12-round fight, Wood landed 13 more.

Judges Howard Foster and Victor Simons turned in identical scores of 118-109, while judge Jose Ignacio Martinez Antunez saw it closer at 116-111.

Wood now wants a stadium fight as he hits the home straight of his 12 year professional career.

“I’ve had a fairytale career. I just told Eddie [Hearn], ‘Give me my fucking happy ending. Give me the City Ground’,” Wood said in his post-fight interview.

“I think Warrington makes sense. But [IBF feather weight champion Luis Alberto] Lopez, unification fight, even bigger. I’ll get my team up onto that. Whoever, you know. I’ve probably got two fights left. City Ground is one of them. A unification could be the other. Just give me a big fight.”

Hearn says he is prepared to deliver what Wood wants.

“Leigh Wood, proper old school, throwback fighter. Nottingham legend. We have to, City Ground have to, Nottingham Forest have to. We have to make it happen,” the Matchroom Boxing boss said.

“He schooled him tonight. He took his heart away. He beat him up. People will say Lara was flat, he was frustrated. Leigh Wood done an absolute job on him and becomes a two-time world champion tonight in Manchester.”