Wood Becomes Two Time Champion

Nottingham born boxer Leigh Wood is WBA Featherweight Champion of the world, again, after beating Mauricio Lara in his rematch fight in Manchester on Saturday night.

Mexican Lara stopped Wood in the seventh round in Nottingham three months ago but the 34-year-old wasted little time in putting that record straight, dominating a fight that went the distance but was as comprehensive a twelve rounder as you could get.

The bout started in controversy after Lara failed to make the weight at Friday’s weigh in to leave his short hold title vacant, but Wood who originally won the belt in 2021 after beating China’s Xu Can, was still able to win back his previously owned piece of gold waste ware by winning the fight. Which he did.

At Manchester Arena he started on the front foot and after a slip in the second round by Lara, Wood had the Mexican back on the canvas when a right uppercut followed by a short left knocked Lara down, although to his credit he quickly got up.

As in Nottingham, Wood continued to dominate but unlike in his home town city in February, he ensured he wouldn’t be caught out again, with a boxing masterclass, although his corner did have to rescue a deep cut above the right eye from hindering his progress.

Wood dominated the fight and by the later rounds it was simply about avoiding a potential KO blow, but Lara didn’t have that in his armour, unable to get going, his opponent out boxing, outworking, outperforming, to win on an overwhelming decision.

By the time it went to the scorecards everyone inside the vocal arena knew who won, Lara didn’t even come out of his corner for the verdict, Wood announced on three judges cards, 118-109, 116-111, 118-109, on two of those cards, winning ten of the twelve rounds.

After the bout, Wood stated “What a feeling. I wasn’t losing no matter what.”

He continued “I am here for hard fights, I am here for fights that are nip and tuck. I may get beat but I’ll come back and beat them.”

Up next for Wood, a potential highly demanded fight at the City Ground. The Nottingham Forest fan who received a message of support from Reds Manager Steve Cooper ahead of the fight this week against Lara, is very much hoping he can showpiece for a world title at the home of his much loved team in front of 30,000 plus. Josh Warrington a potential opponent? Or even IBF holder Luis Alberto Lopez for a unification match.

Whatever happens next for Wood can only whet the appetite of local boxing fans, excitement and promise of something very special again, a local boy doing good, a two time champion of the world, Leigh Wood is becoming one of the city and now countries, all time boxing greats.

*Main image @itsLeighWood Nottingham boxer Wood celebrates his win over Lara.

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