Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara Headlines Matchroom’s First UK Show Of 2023
In a reschedule of their highly-anticipated showdown, Britain’s Leigh Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) will defend his WBA world Featherweight championship against Mexican dangerman Mauricio Lara (25-2-1, 18 KOs) this Saturday, February 18 in what will be a sell-out 9,000 crowd at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England live on DAZN.
Lara produced one of the biggest upsets in a British ring when he stopped Josh Warrington in 2021, whilst Wood finished Belfast’s Michael Conlan in the twelfth round of their 2022 fight of the year contender where the man from Nottingham came off the floor in R1 to knock Conlan out in the closing stages of their thrilling encounter.
Wood vs Lara once again pits Britain against Mexico in a battle of elite featherweights. Watching both men fight, the experts have a consensus that this can be nothing short of a fight-of-the-year contender which could end in a vicious knockout. As a boxing fan, this is a fight which you cannot afford to miss.
Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara Fight Card
In the co-feature, British Super Lightweight champion Dalton Smith (13-0, 10 KOs) puts his Lonsdale belt on the line against heavy underdog Billy Allington (10-1), who claimed the English title in 2022. Most fans are underwhelmed by this opponent and expect Smith to deal with Allington easily, likely inside six rounds.
The highly-rated prospect wants to win the belt outright meaning he needs three defences. He makes the second of those defences against Allington this Saturday and should he win there are plans in place for his third and final defence in April, a source has told NoSmokeSport.
That defence is likely to come against Liverpool’s Commonwealth champion, Sam Maxwell (16-1, 11 KOs). Maxwell was suddenly added to this card last week. Maxwell faces Shaun Cooper (13-4, 3 KOs) over six rounds on the preliminary action.
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. Flores is pretty much an unknown quantity with all of his bouts taking place under the radar.
The record doesn’t suggest too much to worry about and could mark another fight similar to his last one that finished in the opening round. Fans would like to see him step up now and he could do at Croke Park.
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). Yafai recently changed trainers and teamed up with Jamie Moore. Ruiz shockingly drew with Scotland’s Lee McGregor last Feb and could be a real challenge for Yafai.
2020 Olympian Cheavon Clarke (4-0, 4 KOs) was supposed to face Dec Spelman in an eliminator for the English Cruiserweight title but with the sudden retirement of Spelman due to failing a brain scan, Clarke now fights late replacement Israel Duffus (20-8, 17 KOs).
Northampton’s Kieron Conway (18-3-1, 4 KOs) meets Portugal’s Jorge Silva (21-7, 12 KOs).
Wood vs Lara Start Times, TV Channel And Main Event Ring Walks
Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara will be shown live on DAZN around the world (excluding Australia and New Zealand)
The main card action starts at 7:00 pm BST (2 pm ET, 11 am PT). The preliminary action, shown on the Matchroom and DAZN YouTube channels, is scheduled to begin at 4:15 pm GMT (11:15 am ET, 8:15 am PT).
Wood Lara main event ring walks are expected at approximately 10:15 pm GMT (5 pm ET, 2 pm PT).
Wood Lara Running Order
Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara – WBA world featherweight title
Dalton Smith vs Billy Allington – British super lightweight title
Gary Cully vs Wilfredo Flores – lightweight
Cheavon Clarke vs Israel Duffus – cruiserweight
Gamal Yafai vs Diego Alberto Ruiz – super bantamweight
BEFORE THE BELL
Aaron Bowen vs Mathieu Gomes – middleweight
Junaid Boston vs Peter Kramer – super welterweight
Kieron Conway vs Jorge Silva – super middleweight
Sam Maxwell vs Shaun Cooper – super lightweight