‘Will Vacate the Belt’ – What’s Next for Leigh Wood?
On October 8, Leigh Wood (28-3, 17 KOs) and Josh Warrington (31-3-1, 8 KOs) faced off at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England. Wood came into the fight – having regained the WBA featherweight title in a rematch against Mauricio Lara. Warrington entered the ring after a majority decision defeat against Luis Alberto Lopez.
After a strong start from Wood, Warrington took control and was first to the punch throughout – putting together impressive combinations, which seemed to hurt and frustrate “Leigh-thal.” Round seven continued in the same fashion before Wood landed a vicious right hook, which drained the energy from Warrington. He followed up with a left-right combination, sending Warrington crashing to the canvas.
The Future for Leigh Wood
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Winner of O’Shaquie Foster vs. Eduardo Hernandez
WBC world super featherweight champion O’Shaquie Foster (20-2, 11 KOs) will make his first defence of his WBC super-featherweight title against Eduardo Hernandez (34-1, 31 KOs). The winner of this fight could be the next opponent for Wood, with the Nottingham fighter set to move up to super featherweight as confirmed by Eddie Hearn, who told Boxing Social: “One hundred percent, Leigh Wood will vacate the belt.” He continued: “I think now, even if it’s a catchweight, it’s moving to super feather.”
Foster possesses impressive ring IQ and has punch power to be wary of. His quick footwork and ability to switch up his style depending on the opponent make him a potentially difficult opponent for Wood. Hernandez would be a dangerous opponent for “Leigh-thal” with his 31 KOs from 34 wins. Wood will need to be on guard – fighting effectively off the back foot and watch out for Hernandez throwing bombs.
An all-British war at the City Ground between Joe Cordina (16-0, 9 KOs) and “Leigh-thal” would undoubtedly provide fireworks. Cordina was last in the ring – in a barnstorming fight, defeating Shavkat Rakhimov and winning back his IBF super-featherweight title via split decision.
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Cordina is exceptional fighting off the back foot and throws extremely accurate shots. His footwork is slick and enables him to often turn opponents before working the body, making him a troublesome opponent for Wood.
Hector Garcia (16-1-3nc, 10 KOs) won the WBA super featherweight title against Roger Gutierrez on August 20, 2022, via unanimous decision. Garcia boxed smartly throughout, staying behind an effective jab, which enabled him to win the decision, with the judges scoring the contest 117–111 x2 and the last judge 118–110 in Garcia’s favour. The Dominican fighter has only one defeat against Gervonta Davis.
His best weapon is his southpaw straight left – but with Wood capable of fighting southpaw, this shouldn’t trouble him too much. One of his best attributes is his ability to mix his shots and attack with variety to the head and body. He has been known to keep his hands low, and given half a chance, Wood has chosen he is capable of finding that fight-ending combination.