Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara
Leigh Wood will defend his WBA featherweight title against Mauricio Lara on Feb. 18 in Nottingham, England, promoter Matchroom Boxing announced on Monday.
The bout, which shapes up as a slugfest between two aggressive fighters, was scheduled for September before Wood suffered a torn biceps while sparring.
Both men are not afraid to go toe-to-toe and posses immense punching power, so this fight has all the ingredients to be an early Fight of the Year contender.
Here's everything you need to know ahead of Wood vs. Lara.
When is Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara?
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. ET
Main event ringwalks (approx): 10:49 p.m. GMT / 5:49 p.m. ET
The event is set to get underway at 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. ET with the main event ringwalks scheduled for 10:49 p.m. GMT / 5:49 p.m. ET. These timings could change due to the length of the undercard fights.
Why was Leigh Wood vs. Mauricio Lara called off?
On September 13, 2022, Wood's promoter Matchroom Boxing confirmed the fighter had suffered a torn bicep in sparring.
In a later interview, Eddie Hearn said the prognosis for Wood's injury was a six-week lay-off, although he would not require surgery.
This placed a ballpark date of late 2022 or early 2023 for any rearrangement, with Hearn stating that the intention remained to remake the fight with Josh Warrington's one-time conqueror.
Warrington was mentioned as a dance partner for Wood in a potential all-British blockbuster, although he suffered a broken jaw in his brutal seventh-round stoppage of veteran warrior Kiko Martinez two weeks after Wood beat Conlan.
Conlan and Warrington were both back in action in early December, partly explaining Wood vs. Lara being kicked into 2023.
Both men experienced contrasting outings as Conlan stopped former European champion Karim Guerfi in the first round, while Warrington - who was watched from ringside by Wood - dropped a split decision and his title to the tricky Luis Alberto Lopez.
What has been said?
"Mauricio Lara has made things personal between us with the disrespect he showed me regarding my injury and my country," said Wood, ESPN's No. 7 featherweight. "I'm going to show him what I'm all about."
"I have been waiting for this opportunity for two years and I am not going to waste it," said Lara, ESPN's No. 2 featherweight. " ... The WBA 126-pound world title goes to Mexico, that I promised to my daughter, my family, my team and to my whole country. Your time has come Leigh Wood, no 'injury' can save you now from this."
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