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 means of the ringer in pursuit of 1 “Battle of the 12 months” candidate this yr, 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 perhaps have a handful of fights left and I need them to be my greatest,” Wooden mentioned. “I wish to be examined. I’m filling arenas now and I wish to hold that momentum going. Each battle ought to 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 yr Wooden, 26-2 (16), produced one of the vital dramatic and chaotic fights of 2022 alongside Michael Conlan, stopping the Irishman within the twelfth and ultimate 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,” mentioned 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 potential of me changing into a world champion. I’m going to England for the third time and it’s like I’m preventing at house.”
Lara’s two earlier journeys to England noticed him battle Leeds’ Josh Warrington and, although he by no means misplaced, his fortunes have 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 occurred seven months later in September 2021, was an altogether extra irritating affair, with Lara lower 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 yr), although may have been hungry to return to the UK sooner or later to safe yet one more large 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 ought to be a superb one, and it’s a battle each males will likely be determined to win. Galahad, a former IBF belt-holder at featherweight, was after all final seen getting viciously knocked out by Kiko Martinez in November 2021, whereas Hughes, undefeated since 2019, needs to proceed his march in direction of a world title shot and a life-changing payday.
Talking with Boxing Information final month, Hughes made it clear there isn’t any love misplaced between him and his subsequent opponent. “There’s quite a lot of historical past between Josh (Warrington, Hughes’ gymnasium mate) and Sean (O’Hagan, Hughes’ coach) and him (Galahad) and Dominic (Ingle),” he mentioned. “Additionally, there’s the actual fact he received 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 preventing a former IBF champion who was world champion in his final battle and is an effective fighter. I’ll come out of it with a former world champion on my document and it ought to do me properly by way of my rating with the IBF. Hopefully a win in opposition to him will push me additional up and get me nearer to preventing for a title.
“However he doesn’t promote and he’s simply so destructive. I do know I can beat him, however I additionally know will probably be a irritating night time’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 techniques.
“I’m properly up for it, although. I advised my missus, ‘This will likely be good karma vs dangerous karma. Good vs evil.’ He takes steroids and cheats and karma received him with Kiko. I’m a superb individual and karma will likely be on my facet once more. It might be good to ‘Kiko’ him, like.”
Lastly, finishing the primary portion of the September 24 card is an honest girls’s super-welterweight battle between Scotland’s Hannah Rankin, the WBA belt-holder at that weight, and England’s Terri Harper.