Boxing Social understands that a fight between WBA ‘Regular’ featherweight champion Leigh Wood and Mauricio Lara is being discussed. If the bout is finalised, it would take place on September 24, in Nottingham, according to sources.
The sanctioning body have ordered Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) to face ‘Super’ champion, Leo Santa Cruz, as part of their ongoing efforts to consolidate their titles.
The Mexican had requested permission to unify with WBC titlist Rey Vargas, but this proposal was rejected by the WBA.
‘El Terremoto’ confirmed he would not be vacating the title and that his next fight would be against the Nottingham man. However, the mandated 75-25 purse split in favour of Santa Cruz has not gone down well with Wood, and as a result his team have started to explore other avenues, as his trainer, Ben Davison, explained to Boxing Social earlier this week: “We’ve got some options,” he said. “Eddie’s [Hearn] having a look at those options, but no decisions have been made yet as to what will be Leigh Wood’s next steps.”
A showdown with IBF 126lbs champion, Josh Warrington, has been at the top of Wood’s wish-list as the fighter has been openly calling for it on social media. However, it looks like that fight will not take place next.
According to sources, Mauricio Lara and Kiko Martinez were put forward as potential alternatives by Matchroom. Both men have twice faced Josh Warrington, with the Spaniard having suffered defeat on both occasions, while Lara holds a win and a draw against the Leeds man. It is understood that the Mexican is the current front-runner.
Lara (24-2, 17 KOs) first came to prominence with a huge upset win against Warrington, in February 2021. The Mexican dropped ‘The Leeds Warrior’ twice before obliging the referee to halt the contest in ninth round. A rematch held seven months later ended in a technical draw after a clash of heads in the second round opened a cut over Lara’s left eye, which the doctor deemed too severe for the bout to continue.
Wood is currently in the form of his life, having stopped Can Xu last year to claim his strap. He then defended the belt in a fight of the year contender against Michael Conlan, in March of this year.
If Wood does face ‘Bronco’ next, it will likely be a fan friendly fight between two big punchers.