Leigh Wood announces WBA featherweight title fight against Mexican fighter Mauricio Lara in February

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A scheduled bout between the pair last September was scuppered when Wood suffered a torn bicep while sparring but the Nottingham fighter is ready to make another title defence in his home city. Wood, now the WBA's only champion at 126lbs after 'super' titlist Leo Santa Cruz vacated his belt last month, fought most recently last March when he thrillingly stopped Michael Conlan in the final round. "Mauricio Lara has made things personal between us with the disrespect he showed me regarding my injury and my country," Wood said. "I'm going to show him what I'm all about." Wood (26-2, 16KOs) faces a stern test against Lara, who unforgettably knocked out Josh Warrington two years ago to end the Briton's undefeated record as a professional in a major upset. While a rematch against the Leeds fighter ended in a technical draw after an accidental clash of heads, Lara (25-2, 18KOs) has won his last two fights by knockout. "I have been waiting for this opportunity for two years and I am not going to waste it," Lara said. "In February 2021 I beat Warrington in England, now in 2023 I will do the same with Wood. "The WBA 126lbs world title goes to Mexico, that I promised to my daughter, my family, my team and to my whole country. Your time has come Leigh Wood, no 'injury' can save you now from this."

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