At the beginning of the year, Josh Warrington of the UK was considered the best featherweight in the world, and rightfully so. He had an unbeaten record of 30-0, with 7 KO’s, and he was the IBF Featherweight Champion.
The reason why he was the number one featherweight is due to his wins over Kid Galahad, Lee Selby, and Carl Frampton. To prove himself more, Warrington wanted to win the Ring Magazine belt and fight Xu Can in a unification bout.
The governing body refused to sanction the unification bout, which resulted in Warrington vacating the IBF belt. Warrington decided to fight Mauricio Lara in a tune-up fight back in February. As most observers were looking forward to Warrington fighting Xu Can or Gary Russell Jr, Lara was seriously overlooked as a threat.
Prior to the fight, Mauricio “Bronco” Lara (23-2, 16 KO’s) of Mexico City, Mexico, came in as an underdog in the fight and was not expected to win. It was a showcase fight for Warrington. Lara’s record reflected that he was a very good fighter, but he was unknown.
Lara has been a professional fighter for almost six years but only fought once outside of Mexico prior to the Warrington fight. Lara had two early losses in his career. His first loss was by split decision in his pro debut, and his second loss was a KO in his thirteenth pro fight.
Outside of that, he had many victories by stoppage but no notable names on his resume. The fight would keep Warrington busy and make him look good. It was definitely the mindset of his handlers and the promoter.
As the fight happened, Warrington tried to go for the knockout early. He made a fatal mistake and traded punches with Lara. Warrington fought Lara’s fight, and Warrington paid the price. Lara took the shots of Warrington, and he displayed his power. Lara hurt Warrington badly in the fourth round with a left hook. Then as Lara swarmed, he dropped Warrington with another left hook. Warrington managed to survive the round. Warrington fought bravely, but it was all Lara.
Finally, Lara nailed Warrington with a left hook that finished the fight. Lara scored a major upset in a dramatic fashion. To Lara, this was not an upset as he showed up to win.
Now the stage is set for their rematch this Saturday in the UK. The question is: Can Mauricio Lara defy the odds once again?
After the win, Lara positioned himself as a top featherweight.
However, he will need to keep the momentum going and prove the win over Warrington was no fluke. Also, Lara is in a spot where he needs to win by knockout to secure victory once again as he will be fighting in Warrington’s hometown. I can’t imagine the judges will be on Lara’s side if the fight goes the distance.
Just remember, the scorecards were never revealed after the stoppage in their first fight. In the rematch, Warrington is expected to box more, this time to try to earn a decision. Lara only knows to come forward. However, it will be interesting to see if Warrington will be gun shy to throw many punches. Lara will have a psychological edge since he already stopped Warrington.
Lara is once again the underdog but slightly this time. Warrington might be the favorite again, but Lara has enough speed, power, and the chin to pull the upset again.