WBA Featherweight champion Leigh Wood will defend his title belt against Mauricio Lara this weekend in Nottingham. The featherweight clash was supposed to happen in 2022, but the bout was postponed.
Wood won the WBA Featherweight title from Xu Can in July 2021, as the Englishman shocked the champion. The fighter was also the British Featherweight champion at the time. Wood has made one title defence as champion. He defeated Michael Conlan in March 2022 via TKO.
Mexican boxer Mauricio Lara is on a 14-fight unbeaten streak heading into the bout in Nottingham. He most recently defeated Jose Sanmartin via TKO in October 2022. Lara tore his bicep at the end of the summer of 2022, which caused the original bout against Wood to be postponed.
Leigh Wood goes into the fight as the bookmakers’ underdog to win. He is on a three-fight win streak following a February 202 defeat to Jazza Dickens. Wood may have the upper hand this weekend thanks to fighting in his hometown of Nottingham. Lara is in good form and is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the match.
Who is the Favourite?
Mexican boxer Mauricio Lara is the favourite to win the match. Lara has a record of 25-2-1, with 18 knockouts. The Mexican has waited for a first world title shot and will now get it.
Lara had a fantastic win over ‘The Leeds Warrior’ Josh Warrington in February 2021. “Bronco” is a younger boxer at the age of 24, although he doesn’t look it.
Lara is 10 years younger than Wood and despite having less experience, he will have youth on his side. Lara has been brilliant in the featherweight division and a win over Lara would potentially set him up for further title fights versus additional champions in the division.
Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara Location
Leigh Wood will face off with Mauricio Lara in his hometown of Nottingham, England. The match will take place at Motorpoint Arena.
When is the Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara fight?
Wood versus Lara will be a 12-round WBA Featherweight title match and will take place on Saturday, February 18, 2023. The match will be the main event of the show and is expected to begin around 10:30 PM. The undercard will begin at 6 PM.
Leigh Wood Record
Leigh Wood has a record of 26-2. The Nottingham boxer has won 16 matches via knockout and 10 by decision. One of his two defeats was due to a knockout and one from a decision.
Wood is on a three-fight win streak after last being beaten in February 2020 by Jazza Dickens via decision. Wood’s only loss via knockout was back in February 2014 against Gavin McDonnell. “Leigh-thal" hasn’t fought since March 2022. He has had a longer layoff than Lara.
Although Wood is 34, he has fought just as many boxing matches as Lara. Both fighters have boxed in 28 matches. Wood claims he is happy being an underdog and wants to prove the critics wrong. It will be a difficult bout for Wood to retain his title.
Mauricio Lara Record
Mauricio Lara has a record of 25-2-1. He has won 18 fights by knockout and seven via decision. Lara has lost one match via knockout and one due to a decision. He is on a 14-match unbeaten streak ahead of Saturday’s WBA Featherweight title fight versus Wood.
Lara fought Jose Sanmartin via TKO in October 2022. He has less ring rust going into the bout. Lara fought twice in 2022 compared to Wood’s one match.
Lara is no stranger to British boxers. He fought twice against Josh Warrington in 2021. “Bronco” defeated Warrington in the ninth round of their first bout via TKO. The rematch saw the match stopped in the second round after Warrington accidentally headbutted Lara and cut open the Mexican.
There is a chance that Warrington and Lara will fight once more. If “Bronco” wins the WBA Featherweight belt, then the third bout against Warrington would have more spice added to it.
Where to Watch Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara
Wood versus Lara will be streamed live via DAZN. Fight fans can also live-stream the card in the United Kingdom using the DAZN app.
If you want to see Wood versus Lara, you will need to subscribe to DAZN for £7.99 a month. The card will be available to watch via the DAZN app on all mobile devices and smart televisions.
Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara Card
The card will feature seven total fights. As always, the card is subject to change.
- MAIN EVENT: Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara – for the WBA Featherweight Championship
- Dalton Smith vs Billy Allington
- Gary Cully vs Wilfredo Flores
- Gamal Yafai vs Diego Alberto Ruiz
- Kieron Conway vs Jorge Silva
- Junaid Bostan vs Peter Kramer
- Nico Leivars vs Alberto Motos
- Sam Maxwell vs Shaun Cooper
- Aaron Bowen vs Mathieu Gomes
- Cheavon Clarke vs Israel Duffus
Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara Tips
Lara will step into the ring with a strong fighter on Saturday night. “Bronco” defeated Emilio Sanchez and Jose Sanmartin in 2022. Neither fighter is at the same level as Wood, nor do they have the same name in the boxing world.
Wood has improved as his career has gone on. He only recently became a top-level fighter in the featherweight division. Wood leaves himself open at times during fights, which could give Lara an invitation to punch.
Wood could be perfect for Lara, allowing the Mexican to land punches throughout the night. Lara can expect to be hit as well. Wood’s jab could land multiple times on Lara’s chin. “Leigh-thal” will have the hometown support fighting in Nottingham. However, Lara is one of the most dangerous fighters in the featherweight division. The Mexican should win the WBA Featherweight belt with the match going over 7.5 rounds.