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Mauricio Lara has vowed to make Josh Warrington pay for his perceived disrespect when the pair clash in their featherweight rematch at Headingley on Saturday night.
Lara wrenched his rival’s unbeaten record in a stunning ninth-round knockout win in their first bout in February and is determined to prove it was no fluke when they come face to face for a second time.
Lara said: “It really hurt me that such a great champion as him did not give me credit for that performance and on Saturday I am going to show him that we are definitely not on the same level.
“Perhaps people didn’t know me previously but I am sure they do now and there is going to be a repeat of what happened. I have prepared for the 12 rounds but I can assure you it won’t go the distance.”
Warrington, who relinquished his IBF title prior to his upset defeat, admitted he took his eye off the ball as he began to look for potential big fights in the United States.
But he also maintains the pandemic played a contributing factor, with long spells of inactivity and ultimately a bout that took place away from his regular army of fans at Eddie Hearn’s behind-closed-doors fight camp.
Warrington, who dismissed suggestions that he had disrespected his opponent, said: “It’s good to be back and it’s great that there’s going to be a big crowd because the big stage is what I’m used to.
“We were talking about conquering the world and going over to Las Vegas and New York and riding off into the sunset but obviously it became a victim of the pandemic.
“They were frustrating times and then obviously what happened in February was a hard lesson to take.
“But I’m looking to put that right on Saturday night and this is where the next chapter begins. I’ve been around this game for a long time and I can’t wait to redeem myself.”