WHO WILL WIN MAURICIO LARA VS LEIGH WOOD - BIG FIGHT VERDICT AND SUGGESTED BETS
Date, start time and venue
This 12-round contest for Lara's WBA world featherweight title will take place on Saturday, May 27 at the AO Arena in Manchester. The undercard will get underway at 7pm, with the main ring walks at 10pm, live on DAZN.
Lara vs Wood undercard
Jack Catterall v Darragh Foley Terri Harper vs Ivana Habazin (WBA women's super-welterweight title) Danny Ball vs Jamie Robinson (English welterweight title) Aqib Fiaz vs Costin Ion Campbell Hatton vs Michal Bulak William Crolla vs TBA Aaron Bowen vs TBA
Mauricio Lara to win by KO/TKO/DQ/Technical Decision
Fight not to go the 12-round distance
Mauricio Lara to win in rounds 7-9
Lara vs Wood fight verdict
Leigh Wood returns to the ring after just three months and he is looking to set the record straight after losing his WBA world featherweight title against Mauricio Lara. The first fight in Wood's home city of Nottingham was not the all-action contest from the first bell that everyone was expecting, but it was still a superb spectacle and one which finished with Wood on the wrong end of a sweet left hook. "I got chinned," was Wood's recent assessment to Boxing News. The 34-year-old managed to get back to his feet in the seventh, albeit too quickly according to the man himself, but with Lara ready to pounce and get the job done, Ben Davison threw the towel in to save his boxer.
Quick Lara rematch
Wood was understandably disgruntled at the time, but on reflection it was the correct decision and that has allowed Wood a quickfire shot at a rematch. The rematch takes place in Manchester, away from the pressure of Nottingham and includes Jack Catterall and Campbell Hatton on a tasty-looking undercard. Lara (26-2-1) is the 4/11 favourite after disposing of Wood with a perfectly-timed left hand. Both fighters threw similar shots simultaneously, but it was Lara's which landed first on the chin of Wood. Before that Wood had looked to be in command of the situation and was ahead on all three scorecards. Unfortunately that counts for little and it looks like the rematch could be a similar story with both unlikely to see the final bell. Judges Howard Foster and Guillermo Perez Pineda both had Wood up by four rounds to two at the time of the stoppage. And judge Oliver Brien had Lara winning just one round, the second, before he landed the knockout blow. Both fighters had predicted the fight would not see the halfway mark before the fight and they were both wrong. It was a strangely subdued start, but a start which Lara engineered. Wood has admitted he was surprised by Lara's tactics. He claimed that Lara lulled him into a false sense of security, doing little, before quickly bursting into action with a barrage of sharp shots. It may well be the surprise factor that did for Wood and he says he knows what to do this time around, and more importantly what not to do. That's easier said than done against a much younger man at 25, and a fighter who has not lost for five years. Eddie Hearn believes Lara, who is promoted by Matchroom, is the number one featherweight in the world and he certainly showed that in Nottingham. Two years previous Lara, who has 19 KOs, stopped former IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington in the ninth round of their 12-round contest at Wembley Arena.
Fight unlikely to go 12 rounds
Lara has a superb record on knockout victories, with 11 in his last 13 fights and the 4/11 about the fight not going the distance looks a gimme. Lara is a big puncher and he will be well aware that he can change the outcome of the contest with one shot. Wood can also punch though and he landed a few thudding right hands on Lara, while the Mexican landed his own right in the second, which wobbled Wood. The cut, from a clash of heads in round one, certainly did not help Wood with blood pouring into his eye. But he did not use that as an excuse, it was more the chopping body shots and bursts of power punches which did for Wood, as well as the big left hook. The Brit is 9/4 to reverse the outcome, but it's hard to make a convincing case as to why things will be different in the rematch. Lara will approach the fight in a similar manner and he will not panic if he gets behind on the scorecards. After making his professional debut as a 17-year-old Lara has enough nous to lure Wood in again and punish him when he leaves his chin in the air. Expect the fight to be a similar one to the first battle and Lara can retain his WBA crown with another impressive show on British soil.
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