WBA featherweight ruler Leigh Wood (26-2) defends his world title against Mauricio Lara (25-2-1) in his hometown of Nottingham this Saturday.
Wood and Lara were set to collide in September last year, but an injury to Wood saw the bout postponed.
‘Leigh-thal’ returns to his hometown of Nottingham when he collides with Lara. The Motorpoint Arena will play host, the same arena in which Wood made his first defence of the WBA ‘Regular’ title when he and Michael Conlan put on what was considered by many as the 2022 fight of the year.
Wood held the WBA ‘Regular’ title, after picking up what was considered an upset victory over Xu Can in 2021, but in December 2022, it was confirmed that Leo Santa-Cruz vacated the WBA ‘Super’ featherweight title, which meant that the Nottingham man would be recognised as the only WBA champion in the featherweight division.
Lara has made waves on UK shores in the past, as he caused one of the biggest upsets in British boxing history when he stopped Josh Warrington in nine rounds, after coming over here as a relatively unknown underdog back in 2021.
When the proposed bout between the pair was postponed, Lara would find himself fighting a month later, as he defeated Jose Sanmartin within three rounds.
Both men possess knockout power, and many in the industry are convinced that this bout does not last the full 12 rounds. The bout is being billed as ‘Dance With The Devil,’ a fitting name as Wood has clearly picked a very dangerous opponent for a voluntary defence, but with a potential bout at his beloved City Ground hanging in the balance, Wood will be gunning to put on a stand-out performance.
The undercard sees Dalton Smith (13-0) take the second step on his journey to win the super lightweight British title outright, as he squares off with Billy Allington (10-1-4). Smith won the belt in August and successfully defended the strap against Kaisee Benjamin in November. With rumours that Smith is set to headline in his hometown in April, he cannot afford to slip up against Allington.
Irish sensation Gary Cully (15-0) returns to the scene of the greatest night of his young career so far. ‘The Diva’ stopped former world champion Miguel Vazquez in the Motorpoint Arena in March 2022, leading to him signing with Matchroom. Cully faces Wilfredo Flores (10-0-1), and knows that a big result could land him a slot on a card close to his home, Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano II in Dublin.
Gamal Yafai (19-2) continues his quest back to the title picture when he locks horns with Diego Alberto Ruiz (23-6-1). Cheavon Clarke (4-0) returns, no opponent is confirmed for ‘C4’ yet, after initial opponent, Dec Spelman, was unfortunately forced to retire due to a failed brain scan. We at IntuBoxing wish Dec well for the future.
Kieron Conway (18-3-1) looks to get back to winning ways as he squares off with Jorge Silva (21-7) over eight rounds. Sam Maxwell (16-1) also returns to take on Shaun Cooper (13-4), Maxwell will have a keen eye on the chief support as he could land himself a shot for the belt he once owned, the British super lightweight title.
One of the brightest prospects in the Matchroom stable, Junaid Bostan (4-0), will look to move to 5-0 when he locks horns with Peter Kramer (12-7-3). Commonwealth games gold medallist Aaron Bowen (0-0) looks to hit the ground running as a pro, as he makes his pro debut at the Motorpoint Arena. Finally, Nico Leivars (3-0-1) will look to deliver a big performance when he fight Alberto Motos (2-0).
A stacked card with an unmissable main event emanates from the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham this Saturday and can be watched live and exclusively on DAZN.