Mauricio Lara is less concerned about replicating his dramatic title act.
By his own admission, the former WBA featherweight titlist longs for a return to the unadulterated level of violence that saw him rise to prominence. Simply put, Leigh Wood should expect a much shorter night at the office during their second act.
“Last time was a calm performance,” Lara admitted of his come-from-behind knockout win over Wood just thirteen weeks ago. “I’m confident in our preparation. I was to validate that last win and this time get it done in quicker fashion. I’m going to be looking for that knockout from the very first round.”
Lara (26-2-1, 19KOs) trailed on all three scorecards through six rounds in his February 18 title bid at Nottingham Arena in Wood’s hometown of Nottingham, England. The 25-year-old Mexico City native struck gold in the form of a left hook to floor the defending titlist late in round seven. Wood beat the count but the fight was stopped after head trainer Ben Davison literally threw in the towel.
The dramatic ending provided Lara with his first major title win. With it has come the desire to pursue more belts and perhaps even land a lucrative trilogy clash with former IBF titlist Josh Warrington, who will be ringside this weekend.
For now, Lara is focused on a more emphatic and less laboring win over Wood (26-3, 16KOs).
“Big things are to come. But first, I have to cement that victory,” acknowledged Lara. “Leigh Wood isn’t just any boxer. He’s very good but I have to cement that victory and go on to create history in this sport.”
Lara is listed by bet365 as a -300 favorite to score a repeat win over Wood, who is viewed by the same sportsbook as a +240 underdog.
The WBA belt is only at stake for Wood, after Lara failed to make the featherweight limit of 126 at Friday's weigh-in.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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