Leigh Wood doesn’t need to apply a triangle theory to his chance of a win over Josh Warrington.
Not when he can just draw a straight line.
The two-time and reigning WBA featherweight titlist from Nottingham will put his belt on the line versus his countryman atop an October 7 DAZN telecast from Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England. It will mark his third fight of 2023, including a revenge-fueled, twelve-round points win over Mauricio Lara to regain his belt on May 27 at AO Arena in Manchester.
The win avenged a stunning one-punch, seventh-round knockout fourteen weeks prior to Mexico City’s Lara (26-3-1, 19KOs), who is 1-0 with one No Decision in his two-fight series with Warrington (31-2-1, 8KOs).
“I don’t take confidence from knowing Lara beat Josh and that I beat Lara,” Wood noted. “I take confidence in the fact that I know I’m the better fighter.
“It has taken me so long for me to prove this and I’ve waited a long time for this fight to happen.”
Wood (27-3, 16KOs) didn’t have any skin in the title game when Warrington first held the IBF featherweight title. Warrington gave up the belt to instead proceed with a non-title fight versus Lara, who forced a ninth-round stoppage in February 2021.
Their rematch later that September ended in a disappointing two-round No Decision due to a cut over Lara’s eyebrow from an accidental clash of heads.
Warrington went to fight for—and regain—his old IBF belt in a stoppage victory over Kiko Martinez last March in Leeds. By that point, Wood was a WBA ‘Regular’ titlist though two weeks removed from the 2022 Fight of the Year which saw Wood stop Belfast’s Michael Conlan to retain his belt.
Wood has since lost and regained his title to Lara and will enjoy his third fight of 2022, while Warrington hasn’t fought since losing his IBF belt to Luis Alberto Lopez last December.
"In the Lara rematch I felt sharp in between my ears and physically,” insisted Wood. “I feel those fights, with tiny little breaks while still training, has put me in a good position.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox