Now this one is strange. At today’s official weigh-in ahead of tomorrow night’s rematch between Mauricio Lara and Leigh Wood, this for the WBA featherweight title Lara ripped from Wood back in January, Mexico’s Lara failed to make the 126 pound limit. Or should I write how Lara was not given the opportunity to make 126 pounds.
Yesterday, the British Boxing Board of Control, addressing a high weight check, came to the decision that it would not be in the best interests of Lara’s health for him to make 126 pounds. Lara, heavy, was told he would not be permitted to weigh any less than 128-and-a-half pounds. And today, moments ago at the weigh-in, the defending WBA champ tipped-in at 129.8. Wood came in at 125.9.
Now there is a strong possibility that Lara will be stripped of the WBA title for failure to make weight. However, Lara’s argument is that he was not allowed the opportunity to even TRY to make 126 pounds. This is not the only issue surrounding tomorrow’s fight, as Ben Davison, trainer of challenger Wood, says he may pull his man out of the fight as a result of this whole big mess of a weigh-in.
Clearly, at 125.9, to Lara’s 129.8, Wood is at a disadvantage.
Promoter of the fight Eddie Hearn tried to explain things when speaking with Talk Sport:
“Over the last couple of days obviously with both fighters making championship weight, at the BBB of C check weight on fight week they weren’t happy with Lara’s weight at the time,” Hearn said. “They eventually made the decision that Lara cannot weight less than 128.5 on the scales. They were happy with Wood’s weight and he is allowed to make championship weight, he can win the world title on Saturday night. The WBA will make their own individual ruling. As we know normally if a championship fighter doesn’t make championship weight they will lose the belt on the scales and the belt will become vacant.”
So, make of this one what you will. Have you ever seen anything quite like this before? Surely, it should be a simple case of, if a fighter doesn’t make weight, the fight is off unless the other fighter is willing to accept some compensation such as a share of his opponent’s purse. But trainer Davison is right to be angry right now.
“Realistically this shouldn’t be happening, should it? It’s a disgrace to be honest,” Davison said. “It’s an absolute shambles. Leigh was already in weight by the time we know what weight he [Lara] is looking to come in at. I can’t sit here and say we 100 percent rule out the fight not taking place tomorrow. I can’t say that. It’s a discussion I’ve gotta have with Leigh.”
Needless to say, if the fight does go ahead, and if Wood gets knocked out, he will have a genuine complaint in that he was beaten by a much heavier fighter. On the one hand, Wood wants revenge badly, and he doesn’t want to pull out of the fight. On the other hand, can this fight now possibly take place on an even playing field?