Josh Warrington will defend his IBF featherweight title against Mexico’s Mauricio Lara on February 13, topping the fist of five cards that Matchroom have announced to kick off 2021.

Eddie Hearn announced five cards on Friday evening, starting on February 13 and running up until April 10. The shows include the Alexander Povetkin-Dillian Whyte rematch on March 6 and the rearranged vacant WBO cruiserweight title fight between Lawrence Okolie and Krzysztof Glowacki on March 20.

All the shows are due to take place in the UK, probably in the London area, although there is a possibility that the Povetkin-Whyte card could be staged abroad if fans are not allowed back into arenas by March.

Warrington, who has not boxed since 2019, will be making the fourth defence of his title, although a planned unification fight against Can Xu, the WBA champion, was pushed back until late April after the Chinese boxer's promoters, Golden Boy, said he would rather wait in the hope of boxing in front of fans.

The February 13 show will also feature super-featherweight prospect Zelfa Barrett taking on former IBF super-bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez and a vacant British featherweight title fight between Leigh Wood and Reece Mould.

Also on that card, for the vacant British featherweight title, super lightweight talent Dalton Smith takes on Lee Appleyard and Leeds featherweight Hopey Price looks to build on his win over Jonny Phillips at Fight Camp last summer. 

As widely rumoured, the much-delayed European welterweight title fight between David Avanesyan and Josh Kelly will headline the February 20 show, while it will also include a clash of unbeaten welterweight Florian Marku and Rylan Charlton, as well as Anthony Fowler taking on Spain's Jorge Fortea.

Also on that card, Amy Timlin and Carly Skelly rematch for the vacant Commonwealth super bantamweight title.

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.