“Mauricio Lara is the devil, people are afraid of him” – Eddie Hearn

By Will Arons - 02/17/2023 - Comments

Eddie Hearn says he views Mauricio Lara as the devil heading into his fight against WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood this Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England.

Hearn feels that no one wants to fight Lara (25-2-1, 18 KOs) because of his power and what he can do to his opponents. Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) surprisingly picked Lara, as he feels he can beat him, and it would be a good name to add to his resume.

Beating Lara, the fighter that destroyed Josh Warrington, would be a nice feather to stick in Leigh Wood’s cap to set him apart from the Leeds native.

Lara: “I saw fear in his eyes”

“If he lands and beats Mauricio Lara on Saturday night, his chips stack is out of control,” said Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing about his fighter Leigh Wood, who is the underdog against Mauricio Lara in their match live on DAZN.

“‘Bronco’ means a lot to me. It’s made history in boxing,” said Lara. “It’s a nickname that has made history in boxing, and for that, I’m very happy. It comes from my childhood.”

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“For Mauricio Lara, who has already changed his life through victory against Josh Warrington, this is to become a Mexican icon,” said Hearn. “If Mauricio Lara wins this fight, he’s God in Mexico, and he’s going to go on and be in big fights.

“Both guys have everything on the line. They have everything they’ve dreamed of is in front of them on Saturday night,” said Hearn.

“You know, training camps are tough,” said Lara. “Not every boxer spends three months locked away.

“I really don’t know why people are scared of me,” said Lara. “It’s something I’ve earned. That respect as a Mexican fighter. They know that I’m not an easy touch.

“I’m known as a big puncher, but thankfully, I’ve got a good reputation as a strong fighter, a warrior that gives absolutely everything. When I looked into Leigh Wood’s eyes, I saw fear. That’s all I saw. Fear,” said Lara.

“I think I feel a lot better when fight week gets here,”  said Wood.  “I think the rest of the camp is hard work, and when fight week gets here, I know it’s going to go fast.

“I tend to enjoy it more than usual. I start to lock on for Saturday night, and I start to visualize, especially when you see your opponent in the flesh as well,” said Wood.

Wood turned his career around

“This guy’s career was over. I paid him twenty grand to fight Reece Mould [in February 2021 following Wood’s loss to Jazza Dickens in February 2020] behind closed doors for the British title,” said Hearn about Leigh Wood.

“Now, he’s making hundreds and hundreds of thousands. He beats Can Xu, he beats Michael Conlan in the fight of the year, and now he’s fighting Mauricio Lara for supremacy in the 126-pound division,” said Hearn.

“I’m a big advocate for fighters getting beat and coming back,” said Wood. “Two defeats on my resume. I’m still getting written off now, to be fair, with the bookies and everyone else.

“If you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get better and educate yourself, research, and find a good team, there’s no reason that anybody can’t come back from anything,” said Wood.

Mauricio: “I’m going to tear him apart”

“Dancing with the devil is like, ‘Are you sure you want Mauricio Lara?’ Mauricio Lara is the devil,” said Hearn. “No one wants to fight him. Most people are afraid of him.

“Pound-for-pound, he’s one of the biggest punchers in the sport. Are you ready to dance with the devil? Leigh Wood says, ‘Yes, I am,'” said Hearn.

“Regardless of what he said, I’ve got respect for him as a fighter, and I’m focused on him,” said Wood. “Any talk about anything else this week should go straight over my head, and we’ll talk about it after.”

“I’m going to tear him apart and go into his backyard and destroy him,” said Lara. “I’m desperate to hit him like he’s never been hit before.”

“I’m going to pick someone that’s quite reckless, willing to take risks, or you’re going to take someone that’s more educated, more thought behind his boxing, you pick him and still,” said Wood.

“And the new,” said Lara.