Lara vs Wood: Lara says Wood is “damaged” from previous fight against Conlan

By Michael Collins - 02/15/2023 - Comments

Mauricio Lara believes WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood is coming into their fight this Saturday night a “damaged” fighter from the terrible punishment he sustained against Michael Conlan last March at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England.

Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) was knocked down and beaten black & blue by the Irish fighter Conlan.

It was only with the encouragement from his Nottingham fans that Wood, 34, rallied late to score a come from behind 12th round knockout over Conlan to save his career.

The punishment that Wood took could still be there, or at least that’s what the 24-year-old Lara (25-2-1, 18 KOs) believes, and he’s going to look to finish the job Conlan started when he faces the WBA champion this Saturday night on February 18th, live on DAZN at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.

Lara is a bigger puncher than Conlan by a huge margin, which means Wood will be in constant danger of being knocked out in this fight.

With the kind of power that Lara possess, the pro-Wood crowd might not be able to cheer him onto victory as they did against the 31-year-old Conlan last year. The 24-year-old Lara is much stronger and younger than Conlan and capable of doing damage to Wood.

“It was a tough fight. We know that he’s damaged coming into this fight, but he’s coming to defend his title, and that’s what I want,” said ‘Bronco’ Mauricio Lara about the terrible punishment Leigh Wood sustained in his last fight eleven months ago at the hands of Michael Conlan in March 2022.

“This one will happen,” said Lara in taking a verbal shot at Wood after he pulled out of their fight a year ago with what he claims was a bicep injury.

“Leigh Wood picked Mauricio Lara. It wasn’t a mandatory defense thrust upon us,” said trainer Ben Davison to Boxing King Media. “It stands him in good stead,” said Davison about Wood getting up off the canvas against Conlan and coming back to score a late stoppage in the 12th round.

“We knew he was disciplined and could stick to a plan, and you could trust him to do the right thing and give his best to do the right thing in the fight.

“Of course, there’s a risk. Anything can happen in boxing, and when you’re in against a puncher, they have a chance to turn a fight at any moment, and that’s with both guys that are in there this Saturday. That’s why it’s such a big fight, and that’s why everybody is tuning in.

“Both guys can switch each other’s lights off and change the fight in a flash of a moment. I believe Leigh is the better drilled, better prepared, and he knows exactly what he needs to do and is smart enough to set the traps to create the scenarios that favor him in the fight,” said Davison.

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