WBA featherweight champion Leith Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) will be coming back from injury to defend against Mauricio Lara (25-2-1, 18 KOs) in the main event on DAZN on February 18th at the Motorpoint Arena, in Nottingham, England.
The 34-year-old Wood has chosen to go ahead and reschedule with the younger, stronger Lara after suffering an injury in August that wiped out the fight.
Many boxing fans felt that Wood got cold feet after seeing what Lara did to fellow Brit Josh Warrington, and decided not to face him. But thankfully, Wood will be taking the fight after all, and willing to risk his career against the dangerous puncher Lara.
Wood all he could handle in his last fight against Michael Colan and needed a 12th round knockout to get the victory. Conlan really punished Wood in that fight, battering him throughout the fight. If Lara is able to put hands on Wood in the same way, this fight won’t last more than two or three rounds at best.
Interestingly, Wood is predicting an early knockout of Lara, saying that his style of fighting is ideal for him. We’ll see about that.
“Of course, we prepare for twelve rounds. I don’t know if it’ll complete twelve rounds,” said Leigh Wood to Matchroom Boxing about his February 18th fight against knockout artist Mauricio Lara in Nottingham, England. “I seem to get a lot of wins in the twelfth round, but I don’t think this fight will go this far, even though I will be preparing for it.
“The styles of this fight will gel really well, especially for me. The things he does is a recipe for disaster against myself. The probability is very high that I’ll get him out of there fairly early and add another reel to the knockout reels I’ve got already.
“I can’t take anything for granted. I’m working really hard. I’m watching endless amounts of videos to get this right. I want to get this bang on. I don’t want to slip up and get the job done in style.
“I’ve been to both of the fights,” said Wood about Lara’s fights in the UK against Josh Warrington.
“[Michael] Conlan did that [made things personal], and it makes me work that much harder. It makes me push harder,” said Wood about him taking issue with the comments from Mauricio Lara about his injury that caused him to pull out of their previously scheduled fight.
“There’s a little bit of needle, and when there’s the needle, it gives me the extra gears. What I want to say to him is to make sure you’re ready. Make sure you’re at your very best, better than anyone has ever seen you because I’m coming for you.
“He [Lara] said a few things about pulling out of the fight, faking injuries. It doesn’t matter what he says and what he does. The disrespect is there, and he’s got to deal with me on fight night. I’m going to be at my best and I’m coming for him.
“I’m 100% behind Mick [Conlan] and I’d love him to win that fight if that fight is made. It’s just rumors at the minutes,” said Wood about him backing Michael Conlan in his potential title challenge to IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez.
“If that fight is made, I’m definitely behind him. I want him to win that fight, and if all goes well in my fight, that’s a massive rematch in unification with two world titles. It doesn’t get much bigger than that. Everybody is crying for that rematch, and the timing of it could make more sense.
“The Warrington fight would be the bigger fight as is. He’s achieved more and his name isn’t on my resume. Josh is never in a bad fight. He always goes to the well. That would be a cracking fight.
“First of all, I’m not taking my eyes off Lara. I’m fully focused on that fight. So we’ll see what happens.
“I want to apologize for my injury back in August and September. I’ve read and seen a lot of bull s**t in the news on social media about faking injuries and pulling out. That’s not me. I don’t pull out of fights, especially fights I’ve asked for.
“I’m going to show you a massive win and push on to mega-fights,” said Wood.