Knockout Artists Leigh Wood & Mauricio Lara Clash On Feb.
18 In Nottingham
Matchroom Boxing’s 2023 schedule in the UK is set to begin
with a bang at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Saturday
February 18 as hometown hero Leigh Wood puts his WBA
Featherweight World Title on the line against big-punching
Mexican Mauricio Lara, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding
Australia and New Zealand).
‘Leigh-thal’ (26-2 KOs) memorably stopped Michael Conlan in
the 12th and final round of his epic first defence of the
WBA 126lbs title back in March 2022, knocking the Irishman
out of the ring in brutal fashion to end their Fight of the
The Forest-mad Featherweight was heavily dropped in the
opening round and looked to be heading towards his third
loss in the pros before brilliantly fighting back to earn a
brilliant win that will be talked about for many years to
Wood is now recognised as the World Boxing Associations only
Champion at Featherweight after former ‘Super Champion’ Leo
Santa Cruz relinquished his title on Monday December 12, and
the 34-year-old wants to waste no time in adding more World
Titles to his collection in 2023.
‘Bronco’ (25-2-1, 18 KOs) has been waiting patiently for his
shot at Wood after their eagerly anticipated September 24
fight was postponed following a torn bicep suffered by Wood
in sparring, but the Featherweight KO artist finally gets
his dream World Title opportunity next month.
Lara is well-known on UK shores after he floored and
ruthlessly finished Josh Warrington in a sensational upset
behind closed doors at The SSE Arena, Wembley in February
2021, ending the IBF Featherweight World Champion’s unbeaten
He rematched Warrington in front of a sold-out Headingley
Stadium in Leeds seven months later, but a nasty cut over
the left eye of the Mexican in round two caused by an
accidental clash of heads resulted in the contest ending in
a technical draw.
The power-punching 24-year-old blitzed Emilio Sanchez in
three rounds in March 2022 on the undercard of Roman
Gonzalez vs. Julio Cesar Martinez before stopping Jose
Sanmartin in three in another destructive show of brute
force to put the 126lbs division on notice.
“Mauricio Lara has made things personal between us with the
disrespect he showed me regarding my injury and my country,”
said Wood. “I’m going to show him what I’m all about. See
you on February 18 Nottingham – And Still!”
“I have been waiting for this opportunity for 2 years and I
am not going to waste it,” said Lara. “In February 2021 I
beat Warrington in England, now in 2023 I will do the same
with Wood. The WBA 126lbs 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.”
“Quite simply this is a fight that you have to watch through
your fingers,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn.
“After the drama of the Conlan fight last March, Leigh Wood
is about to bring another night of drama to the Motorpoint
Arena Nottingham against the brutal, fearless and much
avoided Mauricio Lara. This fight leads Leigh to the City
Ground in the summer but first get ready for an epic main
event and all action card as we gear up for another FOTY
contender in Nottingham on February 18.”
“What a fight this is to kick off the Matchroom UK schedule
in 2023,” said Joe Markowski, CEO DAZN North America. “Both
Wood and Lara are incapable of being involved in anything
other than brutal, toe to toe, edge of your seat fights and
I for one cannot wait for February 18. Watch this
barnstormer live and exclusive on DAZN."