Never underestimate a proud Mexican warrior, and never trade with said warrior when you are ring-rusty. Such words should have been spoken to former IBF featherweight champ Josh Warrington before last night’s stunning fight at Wembley. In fact, Eddie Hearn tells Sky Sports he did warn Warrington to “be smart,” that Lara’s best chance of victory was if the Leeds warrior elected to stand and trade with him.
But last night the two men went at it and it was Warrington who came off second best. Stopped in the ninth round, 30-year-old Warrington is now facing a hard road back. Having ditched his IBF belt in an effort to speed things up as far as big fights with the likes of Can Xu, Gary Russell Jr and Emanuel Navarrete were concerned, Warrington had taken a gamble. It failed and the exciting fighter with that amazingly passionate fan base is now 30-1(7).
And Mexico, the country that has produced so many great, great fighters, has another star in 22 year old Lara. Now 22-2(15), the man from Mexico City says he dedicates his big win to his country. A pro since October of 2015, when Lara actually lost a decision, “Bronco” was then stopped in his 13th fight. Since then, Lara has won each time aside from when he boxed a No Contest in July of last year. Who knows how far Lara can go?
A return fight between Lara and Warrington is possible (there is a rematch clause in place), but for now Warrington needs to rest. Taken to the hospital after being stopped in the ninth, Warrington shipped plenty of punishment last night. In fact, Hearn says he does not know how Warrington got through the fourth round, this a round that saw Warrington hit the deck.
“I don’t think I’ve seen bravery in the ring like what I saw from Josh Warrington for a long time,” Hearn said. “How he got through that fourth round, I will never know, but for the remainder of the fight, he was on empty and the bravery was incredible.”
That it was, but how much did the fight take out of Warrington? We may not know for some time. As for Lara, the massive underdog goes home a hero. “I’m really, really happy for my family and all the people back home in Mexico,” a victorious Lara said.
This exciting young fighter has a bright future ahead of him.