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Leigh Wood expected to rematch Mauricio Lara after world title defeat

Wood expected to rematch Lara after world title defeat
© Reuters
Leigh Wood is expected to exercise his rematch clause after losing his WBA featherweight title to Mauricio Lara in Nottingham.

Leigh Wood is expected to activate his rematch clause having being knocked out by Mauricio Lara in Nottingham on Saturday night.

Wood, the home fighter, was putting his WBA featherweight title on the line against the most feared opponent in the division, many surprised that he chose that option for a voluntary defence.

For the first half of the fight, the risk was delivering its rewards, Wood clear on all three scorecards at the end of the sixth and seemingly building momentum in a thrilling bout.

However, Lara, the most spiteful of two big punchers, executed the perfect left hook to floor Wood in the seventh, the Englishman beating the count but seeing trainer Ben Davison throw in the towel.

With just seconds left of the round, that decision is deemed to be a bold call, yet it was one which could not be described as the wrong one with Lara ready to pounce on a vulnerable Wood.

Despite the conclusive finish, a rematch appears natural for both fighters, and one which promoter Eddie Hearn expects to happen later in the year.

Speaking to DAZN, Hearn said: "Firstly well done to Leigh Wood for taking a fight like this, everyone knows how dangerous Mauricio Lara is.

"Leigh Wood has a rematch clause, I believe he wants to exercise this rematch. I thought he was cruising that fight, won four rounds on a spin, but Mauricio Lara came with a left hook from the heavens."

Josh Warrington is also expected to push for a trilogy fight with Lara having previously lost to the Mexican before a rematch was cut short after two rounds due to a cut sustained by Lara with an accidental headbutt.

The Leeds fighters no longer holds a world title, though, having lost his IBF crown to Luis Alberto Lopez at the end of 2022.

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Josh Warrington and Luis Alberto Lopez during IBF featherweight title fight on December 10, 2022.
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