Mauricio Lara and Dalton Smith amongst others emerge victorious in Nottingham
Mauricio Lara had a spectacular, come from behind victory, against home town favourite Leigh Wood, to win the WBA Featherweight Title on Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.
‘Leightal’ seemed to be in complete control of the bout through 6 rounds, with Lara only winning the 2nd, in which he shook Wood badly. The defending champion landed multiple long straight right hands to the head, and jabs to the body. Notably hurting Lara to the body in the 5th and 6th.
All was going well for Wood, until the last minute of the 7th. The two featherweight warriors traded left hooks, Lara’s landed far cleaner. Putting Wood down badly. Although getting to his feet at the count of 8. Wood’s trainer Ben Davison threw in the towel. However the stoppage will be much debated with the commentary team of Carl Froch and Andy Lee questioning Davison’s call.
‘Bronco’ could once again face Wood next, as promoter of the pair, Eddie Hearn revealed post fight that Wood has a rematch clause. Another option for Lara or Wood, could be a huge stadium fight in Leeds, against former 2 time champion, Josh Warrington.
In the chief support, British 140lbs champ, Dalton Smith, made his 2nd defence of his title against former English super lightweight champion Billy Allington. Smith was heavily favoured to get the Surrey man out of there early, but Allington lasted the full 12 rounds, despite convincingly losing the decision on all three score cards. It was a very questionable performance from Smith, which left many questioning his ability to fulfil the expectations that many in his promotional team have promised. A cut on Smith picked up in the mid rounds has also put a potential fight against former British and Commonwealth Champion, Sam Maxwell in doubt with the bout scheduled for 29th April in Smith’s hometown of Sheffield.
Elsewhere Gary Cully continued his impressive KO streak, landing a destructive straight backhand on his unbeaten opponent Wilfredo Flores. Flores got up, and was allowed to continue, but a flurry of punches from the Naas man forced the referee to step in. Cully now has his sights set on a clash against Maxi Hughes on the Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano undercard.
Chev Clarke put his tough opponent down 4 times en route to a wide unanimous decision against a very tough Israel Duffus. The Panama man had early success against 2020 Olympian Clarke, but the Kent man’s size and power eventually took the fight away from the career light heavyweight.
Elsewhere Gamal Yafai was dropped 3 times by Argentine, Diego Alberto Ruiz, on the way to a wide unanimous decision defeat. Yafai who was on the comeback trail after a European title defeat against Jason Cunningham. This could be the last time we see Gamal in a professional ring, as it looks a very tough road back to title level for him.
Overall Matchroom and Eddie Hearn put on a great night of fights in Nottingham. With all bouts delivering apart from the Smith vs Allington fight, which is best forgotten and never spoken of again.