‘Bronco’ Mauricio Lara primed for first World Title shot in Nottingham
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.
‘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.
“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.”
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.”
Edited By Darshan Desai