WBA featherweight champion Mauricio Lara (26-2-1, 19 KOs) returns on May 27 in a rematch against Nottingham’s Leigh Wood (26-3, 16 KOs). The bout will be Lara’s first defense of his world title which he won three months ago by stopping Wood in the seventh round. As we get closer to fight night, Big Fight Weekend takes a look at Lara’s origins and the path he took to winning a world title.
Early life and career
Lara was born on February 23, 1998 in Mexico City, Mexico. He became involved in boxing due to his father who has also served as his trainer. At the age of 17, he began his professional boxing career in a four rounder against Julio Carabino. He would go on to lose the bout by split decision. After an 11-fight win streak that included a victory over Eduardo Baez, Lara lost for a second time to Eliot Chavez by first round knockout in 2018. His first fight outside of Mexico took place in Argentina where he stopped Eduardo Estela in 2019.
Entering the spotlight
In 2021, Lara received his biggest opportunity yet. He would face former featherweight champion Josh Warrington and make only his second trip abroad for a fight. Widely expected to lose, he dropped Warrington twice before the bout was called off in the ninth round. The two would have a rematch seven months later only for it to end in a technical draw after a clash of heads in the second round. While Warrington would go on to challenge Kiko Martinez for a world title, winning by seventh round stoppage. On the other hand, Lara would continue to fight on Matchroom shows, making his U.S. debut in 2022 and returning to Mexico for another bout.
Fights with Wood
Lara finally challenged for a world title when he returned to the UK earlier this year to face Wood in his hometown of Leeds, England. Going into the seventh round, he was trailing on the scorecards. Towards the end of the round, a left hook from Lara would knock Wood down. Despite getting up, Wood’s corner threw in the towel, making Lara a world featherweight champion.
Lara and Wood will face each other for the second time at the Manchester Arena. Will Wood get his revenge, or will Lara once again come out on top?