All-action featherweight Leigh Wooden will return to Nottingham’s Motorpoint Area on September 24 in an interesting battle in opposition to fellow big-hitter Mauricio Lara
NOT content material with placing his physique by way of the ringer in pursuit of 1 “Combat of the Yr” candidate this 12 months, Nottingham featherweight Leigh Wooden will look to do the identical once more on September 24 when he takes on the equally aggressive Mauricio Lara, it was introduced yesterday.
“I possibly have a handful of fights left and I need them to be my largest,” Wooden stated. “I wish to be examined. I’m filling arenas now and I wish to maintain that momentum going. Each battle must be a step ahead, not backwards. Mauricio Lara is harmful however high-risk, high-reward. I’m assured I can do what Josh Warrington couldn’t do and get the job performed.”
Earlier this 12 months Wooden, 26-2 (16), produced one of the dramatic and chaotic fights of 2022 alongside Michael Conlan, stopping the Irishman within the twelfth and remaining spherical. He was behind on the scorecards on the time, having been knocked down closely within the first spherical, but Wooden, as is his tendency, persevered and refused to surrender.
The efficiency, an exciting one, earmarked “Leigh-thal” as a can’t-miss fighter and it has arrange this, a battle in opposition to Lara, a featherweight after his personal coronary heart, again in Nottingham (Motorpoint Area).
“I’m very excited,” stated Lara from Mexico. “That is the chance that I’ve labored so laborious for and I’m not going to overlook it. I’m conscious that Leigh Wooden is a superb fighter, however nobody goes to remove the opportunity of me changing into a world champion. I’m going to England for the third time and it’s like I’m combating at dwelling.”
Lara’s two earlier journeys to England noticed him battle Leeds’ Josh Warrington and, although he by no means misplaced, his fortunes had been combined. First time round he famously tore into Warrington and beat him at his personal recreation, dropping him within the fourth spherical earlier than stopping him within the ninth. The rematch, nonetheless, which came about seven months later in September 2021, was an altogether extra irritating affair, with Lara reduce over the left eye in spherical two by an unintentional head conflict and the battle stopped prematurely (declared a draw) because of the damage.
Since then, Lara, 24-2-1 (17), has destroyed Emilio Sanchez in three rounds (again in March this 12 months), although can have been hungry to return to the UK sooner or later to safe yet one more huge battle and payday. He now will get one within the form of a battle in opposition to Wooden, a person 10 years his senior, on September 24.
Additionally on Matchroom’s Nottingham card is an intriguing all-British light-weight battle between Yorkshiremen Maxi Hughes, 25-5-2 (5), and Child Galahad, 28-2 (17).
With loads of needle between them, this must be a very good one, and it’s a battle each males shall be determined to win. Galahad, a former IBF belt-holder at featherweight, was in fact final seen getting viciously knocked out by Kiko Martinez in November 2021, whereas Hughes, undefeated since 2019, desires to proceed his march in the direction of a world title shot and a life-changing payday.
Talking with Boxing Information final month, Hughes made it clear there is no such thing as a love misplaced between him and his subsequent opponent. “There’s numerous historical past between Josh (Warrington, Hughes’ gymnasium mate) and Sean (O’Hagan, Hughes’ coach) and him (Galahad) and Dominic (Ingle),” he stated. “Additionally, there’s the very fact he obtained banned for taking steroids (in 2015, Galahad examined constructive for the banned substance stanozolol, an anabolic steroid). I don’t like that.
“The positives are that I’m combating a former IBF champion who was world champion in his final battle and is an efficient fighter. I’ll come out of it with a former world champion on my document and it ought to do me effectively when it comes to my rating with the IBF. Hopefully a win in opposition to him will push me additional up and get me nearer to combating for a title.
“However he doesn’t promote and he’s simply so unfavourable. I do know I can beat him, however I additionally know it is going to be a irritating evening’s work. I sparred him years in the past and know what he’s like. He begins standing in your ft, grabbing maintain, and utilizing soiled ways.
“I’m effectively up for it, although. I instructed my missus, ‘This shall be good karma vs dangerous karma. Good vs evil.’ He takes steroids and cheats and karma obtained him with Kiko. I’m a very good individual and karma shall be on my facet once more. It could be good to ‘Kiko’ him, like.”
Lastly, finishing the primary portion of the September 24 card is an honest ladies’s super-welterweight battle between Scotland’s Hannah Rankin, the WBA belt-holder at that weight, and England’s Terri Harper.