Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara: Start Time, Date, How To Watch

By Matchroom Boxing - 02/17/2023 - Comments

Mauricio Lara has warned Leigh Wood that if he switches off during their WBA Featherweight World Title showdown this Saturday February 18 at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, shown live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia and New Zealand), then “the fight will be over quickly”.

Mexico’s Lara (25-2-1, 18 KOs) has waited patiently for his first World Title shot following his brilliant win over ‘The Leeds Warrior’ Josh Warrington back in February 2021 – a win that would have seen him crowned the new IBF 126lbs king if Warrington had not vacated his title a month prior to their behind closed doors clash.

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‘Bronco’, who is the much younger man of the two aged 24, believes his 34-year-old opponent has a lot of miles on the clock following his breath-taking back and forth battle with Ireland’s Michael Conlan in March last year – the defending champion hasn’t fought since.

“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 Lara. “I’m grateful to him for taking this fight. We know nobody wants to face me at 126lbs for a World Title but this one will happen, and we know what we are capable of doing.


  • Date: Saturday, February 18
  • Time: 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. ET
  • Main event ringwalks (approx): 10:49 p.m. GMT / 5:49 p.m. ET
  • The fight will take place at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England.
  • The card will stream live on DAZN in over 200 countries across the globe (except Australia and New Zealand).
  • The event is set to get underway at 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. ET with the main event ringwalks scheduled for 10 p.m. GMT / 5 p.m. ET.

“We know it’s a big fight. We know it’s the acid test. We know Leigh Wood is a great champion but I have big aspirations and a great desire to become World Champion and as I’ve said, whatever it takes, I have to do it this time.

“We know he’s a great fighter but it’s going to be a really tough fight for him. We know how we’re preparing, we’ve caused an upset before in his country and it will be the same on February 18. Believe me, if he switches off, the fight will be over quickly. It won’t go beyond the fifth.”

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Warrington will be keeping a close eye on Saturday’s X-rated clash, and has been touted to face the winner, despite losing his IBF Title to Luis Alberto Lopez last December. The 32-year-old Yorkshireman has picked Wood to beat Lara, but the big-hitting knockout artist isn’t bothered in the slightest.

“Well, what can someone who got knocked out in 9 rounds have to say? Who got his jaw fractured, his shoulder and elbow damaged. Chickens always criticise people but he knows ‘Bronco’ Lara is coming for him and I will destroy him.”

Wood vs. Lara headlines Matchroom’s first show of the year in the UK, Sheffield star Dalton Smith (13-0, 10 KOs) makes the second defence of his British Super-Lightweight Title against Billy Allington (10-1-4), Irish Lightweight hope Gary Cully (15-0, 9 KOs) takes on the USA’s Wilfredo Flores (10-0-1, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBA Intercontinental Title, Gravesend Cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke (4-0, 4 KOs) fights late replacement Israel Duffus (20-8, 17 KOs), former European Super-Bantamweight Champion Gamal Yafai (19-2, 11 KOs) begins 2023 with a ten-rounder against Argentina’s Diego Alberto Ruiz (23-6-1, 12 KOs), Northampton’s Kieron Conway (18-3-1, 4 KOs) meets Portugal’s Jorge Silva (21-7, 12 KOs) over eight rounds at Super-Middleweight, Rotherham Super-Welterweight talent Junaid Bostan (4-0, 4 KOs) fights for the third time under the Matchroom banner, popular Mansfield Super-Bantamweight Nico Leivars (3-0-1) squares off against Spain’s Alberto Motos (2-0) over six rounds, Commonwealth Super-Lightweight Champion Sam Maxwell (16-1, 11 KOs) faces Shaun Cooper (13-4) over six rounds and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Aaron Bowen makes his professional debut at Middleweight against Mathieu Gomes (5-4, 5 KOs).

Limited remaining tickets for Wood vs. Lara can be purchased via Stage Front.

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Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:

“The WBA World Featherweight Title. The Super WBA World Featherweight Title. Leigh Wood against Mauricio Lara this Saturday live on DAZN around the world from the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham. What a fight we have here. Someone asked me earlier, what gives me a big fight feeling? Driving up the M1 excited, thinking about what might happen on Saturday night. Thinking about the atmosphere, thinking about the great nights we’ve experienced in this arena. Carl Froch beating Lucian Bute, Leigh Wood beating Michael Conlan. Honestly on Saturday night I think we’re going to get the best we’ve ever seen in this city. This is a tremendous fight to bring to the UK and we’re so proud of Leigh Wood the champion for accepting this challenge as the champion. The first time you’ve seen an underdog in his home city take a voluntary defence. Him and his trainer Ben Davison they see something, they see an opportunity to become the daddy of the division on Saturday night. For me this is to determine the number one fighter in the 126lbs division. There’s going to be drama, there’s going to be excitement and there’s going to be plenty of violence. We cannot wait.”

Ben Davison, trainer of Leigh Wood:

“Styles make fights, more than levels. Leigh Wood has been written off numerous times throughout his career. When he lost for the British Title early on, when he lost in the Golden Contract, when he was boxing Can Xu, when he was boxing Michael Conlan. Every time he’s come back better and stronger and risen to the challenge. That’s when you see the best of Leigh Wood. You won’t see the best of Leigh in a fight that he’s the heavy favourite in. Mauricio Lara is a very brave fighter and a very dangerous fighter. In the mist of chaos lies opportunity and I believe that you can’t be as reckless as he is against a puncher like Leigh Wood. There is no doubt in my mind who the bigger puncher is. That’s not how it always plays out in a fight. Leigh is very well drilled and well prepared. He knows exactly what he needs to do and will have the intelligence and the IQ to create the opportunities and scenarios that favour him in the fight for him to execute what he needs to execute to end the fight. Fear is not anything to do with Leigh’s mindset going into this fight. We’re very confident, Leigh’s very confident. If anything, Mauricio Lara needs to be worrying and fearful of Leigh Wood because he’ll be the one that comes out victorious and he’s the dangerman in the fight.”

Alejandro Brito, manager of Mauricio Lara:

“First and foremost, I want to say thank you to Eddie for the opportunity. We also have to thank Leigh Wood’s team for this opportunity. He’s now just two days away from becoming World Champion. It has been a dream that he has had for a long time, we hoped that he’d do it against Josh Warrington, unfortunately that fight wasn’t for a World Title in the end. I’m totally convinced now that through all the hard work and suffering he has gone through that he’s going to become World Champion on Saturday night. I met Mauricio a little over six years ago and he always said it was a dream to become World Champion. He always wanted his name to be recognised in Mexico and around the world and now he’s just two days away from this. We’re really confident and really motivated, not just us but every back home in Mexico. They believe he will become World Champion.”


  • Leigh Wood vs. Mauricio Lara; For Wood’s WBA world featherweight title
  • Dalton Smith vs. Billy Allington; For Smith’s British super lightweight title
  • Cheavon Clarke vs. Dec Spelman; Cruiserweight
  • Gary Cully vs. Wilfredo Flores; Lightweight
  • Gamal Yafai vs. Diego Alberto Ruiz; Super bantamweight
  • Aaron Bowen vs. TBA; Middleweight
  • Junaid Boston vs. Joel Julio; Light middleweight
  • Kieron Conway vs. Jorge Silva; Super middleweight
  • Nico Leivars vs. Alberto Motos; Super bantamweight
  • Sam Maxwell vs. Shaun Cooper; Super lightweight