Josh Warrington (30-1, 7 KOs) was no match against little known Mauricio Lara (22-2, 15 KOs), who made easy work of him scoring a 9th round knockout on Saturday night at the Wembley Arena in London, UK.
In what was supposed to be a tune-up fight for the ring-rusty former IBF featherweight champion Warrington turned into an utter disaster for him and his promoter Eddie Hearn, as the 22-year-old Mexican fighter Lara blasted Warrington to smithereens with a ninth-round knockout.
Just moments before the knockout, Lara caught Warrington with a left hook to the head that stunned him.
Warrington went backward to the ropes to try and cover-up, but Lara landed a perfect left hook through his guard that caught him square on the chin that sent him down back first.
Warrington was so hurt that he didn’t attempt to brace his fall. He fell like a tree in a forest.
The referee wisely stopped the fight immediately despite Warrington looking like he would try and get up to continue fighting.
Earlier in the contest, Lara knocked Lara down in the 4th round after catching him with a left hook to the head. Warrington barely made it out of the round as he was out on his feet. If Lara had tagged him with another big shot, he would have stopped him then.
Warrington still looked shaky in rounds five through eight, and he was hurt several times in those rounds. In the sixth and eighth, Warrington was stunned by Lara’s big shots, but he made it through them on heart.
“No-one gave Lara a chance, but we knew he could fight. We didn’t think he’d beat the No 1 featherweight, but he did,” said Eddie Hearn after the fight.
“I haven’t seen bravery in the ring as I saw from Warrington in a long, long time. Warrington was erratic. The ring-rust showed. He got caught and never recovered.
“He was running on empty, and his bravery was incredible. For Warrington, it is a crushing blow. Back to the drawing board,” said Hearn.
Interestingly, Hearn said that Warrington might choose to push for a rematch with the 22-year-old Lara. Obviously, that might not be the smartest thing for him to do, given the fight’s one-sided nature.
Lara looked too powerful from the first round of the fight, and that would not change in a rematch. The youth and the power that Lara posses make it a bad idea for Warrington to mix it up with this guy ever again.
There are fighters in the 126-lb division that would likely have an easy time beating Lara, but Warrington is not one of them. Lara’s style is all wrong for him, especially with the way he likes to brawl.
Well, the loss for Warrington absolutely wrecks his plans on fighting WBA ‘regular’ featherweight champion Can Xu, WBC champ Gary Russell Jr and WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete.
Instead of Warrington fighting those champions, he’ll likely be taking on Mauricio Lara in a rematch next. I mean, the way that Warrington lost, it’s going to be almost impossible for him to walk away from the defeat with his reputation still intact.
The way that Warrington was taken apart by Lara reminded me of how a young George Foreman destroyed champion, Joe Frazier, in January 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica. Foreman was just too powerful for Frazier, and nothing changed in their rematch two years later.
If Warrington faces Lara again, he’ll likely meet the same fate and wind up getting knocked out a second time. Obviously, Warrington can try and spoil for 12 rounds, as we saw from Zelfa Barrett in his fight against Kiko Martinez on tonight’s card, but fighting in an ugly manner like that doesn’t seem like something Josh would want to do.