Josh Warrington tops the bill on Saturday as boxing returns in the UK during a national lockdown with the Leeds Warrior eager to put on a show and justify his place at the top of the featherweight rankings.
There will be some big fights for Warrington in the coming months but first he must overcome Mauricio Lara.
The former IBF world champion at 126 pounds has harboured an ambition to fight in the United States, which proved a driving factor in his decision to snub a rematch with Kid Galahad, though a unification fight with WBA ‘regular’ champion Can Xu could not be agreed, meaning he was forced to relinquish the title, but the Yorkshireman is “very confident” he can become a two-time world champion.
A win over Lara will likely see Warrington set up a big fight against Xu, following signature wins over Lee Selby and Carl Frampton, as well as the narrow victory on points over Galahad. The Mexican fighter is just 22 years of age and has only lost twice, with his current unbeaten streak stretching back to May 2018.
Warrington remains perfect as a professional, but overcoming his recent inactivity since knocking out Sofiane Takoucht in October 2019 could present an equally tough challenge to Lara this weekend. The carrot of facing Xu next should he avoid the upset here will likely bring an opportunity to capture the prestigious Ring Magazine belt.
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Warrington is in a confident mood and has bragged about hitting harder than ever before, with his status as both one of the sport’s most exciting fighters and ranked No 1 in the world by The Ring Magazine fuelling his fire to put on a statement this weekend.
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Here’s everything you need to know about the fight:
When and where is the fight?
The fight is on Saturday, 13 February at The SSE Arena, Wembley, London, with the undercard set to begin at 7pm GMT.
What time are the ring walks and when will the main event start?
The ring walks are scheduled to begin at 10pm, so the fight should start shortly after 10:15pm, though the undercard results will have some influence on how accurate this will be.
How can I watch the fight and is there a live stream?
The fight will be shown on Sky Sports Arena and Main Event in the UK and Ireland, with DAZN providing coverage in the United States.
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Fans in the UK can stream on the move or through their games console by using the Sky Go app.
Fans everywhere else in the world can tune in through the DAZN app, except Australia and New Zealand, with monthly fees from as little as £1.99, full options depending on your territory can be found here.
Main event and undercard fights
- Josh Warrington vs. Mauricio Lara; Featherweight
- Leigh Wood vs. Reece Mould for vacant British featherweight title
- Zelfa Barrett vs. Kiko Martinez; Junior Lightweight
- Dalton Smith vs. Ishmael Ellis; Junior Welterweight
- Shannon Courtenay vs. TBA; Bantamweight
- Ivan Price vs. Zahid Hussain; Featherweight
Provided by Betfair
Warrington via KO/TKO: 2/5
Warrington via decision: 21/10
Lara via KO/TKO:13/1
Lara via decision: 30/1
Ultimately Warrington should look good here as he builds momentum to fight Can Xu next, with Lara yet to experience anybody close to the Leeds Warrior’s quality. While this is also his first fight outside of Mexico or South America – with his one fight outside of his home country coming in 2019 in a win against Eduardo Estela in Argentina. While the atmosphere will be unique to both fighters, we lean towards Warrington closing the show in the late rounds, perhaps the 9th or 10th after banking some valuable rounds to set up an exciting 2021. Warringon via KO/TKO.
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