Mauricio Lara is set for his first fight on home soil in nearly four years.
The top-rated featherweight contender will face Colombia’s Jose Sanmartin in a scheduled ten-round bout just above the divisional limit. Both fighters made the contract weight for their DAZN headliner this Saturday from Plaza del Toros in Lara’s hometown of Mexico City.
Lara was 127.4 pounds, while the visiting Sanmartin was 126.6 pounds.
The homecoming comes as a consolation prize for Lara (24-2-1, 17KOs), who was originally due to challenge secondary WBA featherweight titlist Leigh Wood. Their September 24 clash in Nottingham, England was canceled after Wood suffered a biceps injury, leaving Matchroom Boxing to bring home Lara for an already established fight date.
Lara—who proudly fights under the BXSTRS banner along with Matchroom Boxing—last fought in Mexico in December 2020, having since soared to title contention. The run comes largely on the strength of a ninth-round knockout of then-unbeaten Josh Warrington last February. Warrington vacated his IBF featherweight title to avoid an undesirable mandatory title fight rematch with Kid Galahad to take the fight, with the night ending in disaster. Their rematch last September in Warrington’s Leeds hometown ended in a technical draw after two rounds due to a clash of heads producing a cut over Lara’s left eye.
Warrington has since reclaimed his IBF title, while Lara has fought just once since then—a third-round knockout of Emilio Sanchez on DAZN this past March 6 in San Diego.
Sanmartin (33-5-1, 21KOs) fights outside of Colombia for just the fifth time. He is just 1-3 on the road, though the one win came in his previous trip to Mexico when he outpointed former title challenger David Carmona over ten rounds last August 27 in Mexico City.
The 25-year-old fringe contender from Barranquilla—who is expertly guided by manager Shane Shapiro—has won six straight heading into the bout. His last loss came in a June 2018 twelfth-round knockout to Emanuel Navarrete, who has since gone on to win major titles at junior featherweight and featherweight.
Emotions ran high during the post weigh-in staredown for the evening’s chief support. The camps for Angel Fierro and Jeremy Cuevas had to be separated, though without incident as the boxers are set for a ten-round regional lightweight title.
Fierro (19-1-2, 15KOs)—a Tijuana native based out of San Diego—was a ripped a lean 134 pounds, while Philadelphia’s Cuevas (14-1, 10KOs) weighed 137.6 pounds, well above the limit for the WBO-NABO lightweight belt at stake.
Fierro is coming off a ten-round majority draw with former titleholder Juan Carlos Burgos on March 5 in San Diego, the same show that saw his stablemate Lara prevail in his aforementioned knockout win over Sanchez. Cuevas has won three straight heading into his first fight outside of the Philly-Atlantic City region in the Northeastern U.S.
Staten Island’s Reshat Mati (12-0, 7KOs) weighed 139.2 pounds for his junior welterweight debut, while Eduardo Leonel Rodriguez (10-2-1, 5KOs) of Aguascalientes, Mexico was 142.2 pounds for their scheduled ten-round bout. Mati previously campaigned at welterweight.
Opening the four-fight DAZN telecast (Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT), local second-year pro Alberto Mora (3-0, 3KOS) was 130.8 pounds while Durango’s Diego Andrade (14-7-2, 1KO) weighed 131.6 pounds for their scheduled eight-round junior lightweight contest. The event marks Mora’s first eight-round affair, though he has only needed two rounds in each of his three pro starts.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox