As we count down the hours until both boxers enter the ring for what is set to be a potential fight of the night, on the undercard of the Josh Warrington v Mauricio Lara bout at Wembley Arena, live on Sky Sports this Saturday. Our very own ‘Leighthal’ Leigh Wood is hoping that experience will tell as he takes on Doncaster’s Reece Mould for the vacant BBBofC British Featherweight title.
Wood says “I’ve done my apprenticeship, I’ve been in those fights where I’ve had to learn the hard way, and that on Saturday night will show”.
The Nottingham boxer is bookmakers favourite to take a belt that has so far eluded him during ten years as a professional boxer having lost the bantamweight version in only his tenth fight against Gavin McDonnell seven years ago, but Wood these days is a different fighter to the young 25-year-old that gave his all before blowing out of steam in Hull, better controlled, with more finesse and timing than brute force, more patient than eager, Wood is used to taking his time to get the result he wants.
Last time out, against Jazza Dickens in the Golden Contract fight, Wood narrowly lost on points in a classic fight between two boxers at the top of their game. That loss hurt Wood, who may have seen it as missed opportunity, but Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing have been impressed enough, to include the 32-year-old on their latest billing, here’s hoping that the Gedling boxer can repay the faith in Matchroom by securing the result we all want.
Wood comes into the ring with 25 bouts, 23 wins and just 2 defeats (against the aforementioned Gavin McDonnell and Jazza Dickens) and along his journey so far has won a Midland Area featherweight title, a Commonwealth featherweight title and European featherweight belt, the British belt would be icing on his latest piece of cake, with previous winners to include Jim Driscoll, Ronnie Clayton, Howard Winstone, Terry Spinks, Barry McGuigan, Duke McKenzie, Lee Selby, Josh Warrington and recent latest holder (over a record equalling six bouts) Ryan Walsh. Wood winning the famous crown would put him in with some pretty famous company.
The man himself mentions bigger and better things to come, fighting to regain the European belt, a possible world title bout, even boxing at the City Ground perhaps, fighting at the home of his beloved Nottingham Forest would really top the lot for a keen Red Dog, but Wood must overcome a fighter unbeaten in 13 so far, one that holds the English featherweight title having impressively beat Sean Davis before edging Bayardo Rayos on points last time out. 2019 however the last time Mould fought, Wood’s fight with Dickens came in February last year, one week short of a whole calendar, the expectancy is that this will not go the distance.
On winning the fight, which Wood is most confident of doing, he said “It’s going to mean a lot, it’s a bit late coming, I’m not sure if I’m going to stick around and defend it but it means everything to me to cement my name with all the other Nottingham champions that have gone before me that have won the British title”.
The fight night starts at 7pm and is live on Sky Sports Arena on Saturday night and as well as the headline event Warrington v Lara which is set to start around 10pm, the show also includes Ivan Price against Zahid Hussain in the featherweight division with Dalton Smith taking on fellow Junio Welterweight Ishmael Ellis and Zelfa Barrett up against Kiko Martinez in the Junior Lightweight division.
*Main image @itsLeighWood hoping to make an entrance by showing his quality on Saturday night.