Tensions were high at the weigh-in for Leigh Wood’s WBA featherweight title defence against Mauricio Lara – but it wasn’t the fighters who got heated.
Wood has been rightly applauded for choosing to face Lara – the previously understated Mexican who burst onto British shores with a devastating stoppage win over Josh warrington in 2021.
It’s a contest that not many believe will go to the judges, and both men have an air of menace about them heading into it. It’s at this time in the build up mind games and tricks of the trade start creeping in.
As Wood stepped off the scales, a member of Lara’s team invited him to go back on – an implication that there was something wrong with his weight. Eddie Hearn was quick to jump in.
The promoter said ‘get your hands off him … you never touch the fighter.’ He repeated his point in the face of the coach until things blew over.
A translation then shows the trainer telling Lara that he was just ‘f***ing around’ but that Wood wasn’t over the limit. Lara then took his time rehydrating to orders of ‘let him wait’ from his team as Wood assumed the face-off position.
Later, speaking to Boxing Social, Hearn explained the situation.
“It wasn’t Lara it was just one of his trainers. They’re all good guys. He saw the weight – it was actually in kilos – and it was 57.05 kilos.
Basically the same as what Lara weighed, but they all looked at the scales and then when Leigh Wood got off he grabbed him and said ‘get back on.’
I grabbed him and said ‘get your hands off him, don’t touch a fighter’ – and then he spoke to the commissioner who said that was the weight. So that was fine. Both guys bang on, ready to fight.”
It’s clear that Lara and his team, as always, are here to win and will refuse to let a fervent Nottingham crowd get in the way of that.
The fight tops an entertaining card at the Motorpoint arena and will be broadcast live and exclusively on DAZN.