Eddie Hearn: Leigh Wood has 2 options for rematch with Mauricio Lara

By Michael Collins - 02/19/2023 - Comments

Eddie Hearn listed the two options available to Leigh Wood for him to rematch Mauricio Lara to avenge his seventh round knockout defeat and recapture his lost WBA featherweight title.

Hearn says the 34-year-old Wood (26-3, 16 KOs) can use his rematch clause to make Lara (26-2-1, 19 KOs) fight him next or he can wait until he defends against Josh Warrington and then face the winner.

If Warrington comes out victorious, Wood will likely forget about avenging his loss to Lara and instead face Josh in a lucrative match at the City Grounds in Nottingham or Leeds, which wouldn’t be ideal, but as the challenger, Leigh wouldn’t be in the position to dictate terms.

Last Saturday, Wood blew a lead when he was caught by a left hook from Lara in the seventh round, and put on the canvas. After Wood got up, his trainer Ben Davison took one hard look at his physical condition and decided to throw the towel in.

Since then, there’s been a lot of second-guessing by boxing fans and the media about whether Davison made the right call by stopping the fight because many think he should have given Wood the chance to see if he could recover before throwing in the towel.

Wood has 2 options

“Leigh Wood has the rematch clause and really has two options. He can rematch him straightaway, or he can let Mauricio Lara fight Josh Warrington and fight the winner,  but it’s in his hands,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV.

“He’s going to be very frustrated. He’s going to feel like he can beat Mauricio Lara, but Mauricio Lara is going to feel really confident he can do that again to Leigh Wood.  So we’ll give him some time, and sit down with Ben Davison and Leigh Wood, but he’ll be back 100%,” said Hearn.

Froch agrees with Wood stoppage

“What a fantastic fight. He [Wood] was in control round one, and he got caught with a shot in round two. He got rocked to his boots, but he recovered. In rounds 3, 4, 5 & 6, he wasn’t dominating but he was in control, he was comfortable,” said Carl Froch to iFL TV about Leigh Wood.

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“He was doing what he had to do to show the judges that he was winning the fight. He got caught with a shot in round [seven], a left hook. I hate boxing sometimes. One punch flattened him and bounced his head off the canvas. He was badly hurt, and Ben Davison threw the towel in.

“My initial response to the towel coming in was that it was too early. There were like six seconds left in that round. I just thought that if he didn’t throw the towel in, he would have survived the six seconds, had a minute’s rest, and the fight could have gone on.

“After speaking to Leigh Wood today, he said, ‘Listen, my legs were gone.’ Ben Davison knows Leigh Wood better than any of us. He’s been in training camp with him. It was a compassionate move by him. I thought initially it was hasty.

“Looking back at it and listening to Leigh, I actually think it was the right thing to do. Leigh will live to fight another day, and he will fight another day because he has an immediate rematch. He has a clause in that contract that he can activate,” said Froch.

“That was a smart move by Eddie Hearn or a standard contractual rematch. Anyway, he’s got the rematch, and he wants to execute the rematch, and rightly so,” Froch said about the 34-year-old Leigh Wood. “He just fought brilliantly and was landing some short, sharp right hands on the chin of Lara.

Can Leigh become champion again?

“Lara looked like he was getting hurt and fading a little bit,” said Froch. “I thought Leigh was in control, but like I said, boxing is horrible at times. That left hook [from Lara] devastated him. I do want to clear up that I thought that Ben Davison shouldn’t have thrown the towel in initially, and then I watched it and thought, ‘That was a good stoppage.’

“Ben Davison, good stoppage. Right movie with the towel. It doesn’t matter that there wasn’t no time left in that [seventh] round. I don’t think. I don’t think he would have recovered, and he could have got hit and really badly hurt. So good move by Ben Davison, fair play to him.

“Yeah, it was great. Leigh Wood comes back again. Leigh Wood, the sheriff of Nottingham, done his country, done his city proud, and his family, more importantly. Brilliant. He’ll be back, he’ll be world champion again, and I’m looking forward to seeing the comeback win. Come on, Leigh Wood. Keep your chin up,” said Froch.