Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara Preview February 18th, 2023
WBA Featherweight Champion Leigh Wood will be defending his title for the second time this Saturday, February 18th when he takes on Mauricio Lara of Mexico in the champion’s hometown of Nottingham, England. Wood took the title in July, 2021 with a 12th-round TKO of Can Xu (Xu Can) of China and defended it via a 12th-round stoppage over Michael Conlan last March. Lara was last in the ring in October when he stopped Jose Sanmartin in the third round. This weekend’s 12 round bout can be seen live in most nations on DAZN.
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Wood vs Lara Betting Odds
Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook BetOnline.ag (full review here).
- Leigh Wood +200
- Mauricio Lara -260
The 34-year-old Wood enters the ring with a record of 26-2 with 16 Ko’s. He made his pro debut in 2011 after a good amateur career and has boxed 144 rounds since. He’s also captured the British, British Midlands, Commonwealth Boxing Council, and WBO European Featherweight Titles along the way. His first loss was a a sixth-round TKO at the hands of Gavin McDonnell in 2015 for the vacant British Super Bantamweight title.
Wood’s second defeat came at the hands of James Dickens for the WBO European Featherweight Title in February, 2020 via a 10-round majority decision. His biggest wins have been over Michael Conlan, Can Xu and the likes of Isaac Owusu, Josh Gale, Lee Glover, Ryan Doyle, David Joyce and Reece Mould. Wood has decent power with a current knockout ratio of 57.1 per cent and his last seven wins have all come by way of stoppage. He stands 5-feet-7-inches tall with a 67-inch wingspan.
Lara is just 24 years old and made his pro debut back in October, 2015 as a teenager and has boxed 118 rounds since. He measures 5-feet-7-inches tall but unfortunately has an unlisted reach so he’s the same height as the champion. Lara carries a record of 25-2-1 with 18 Ko’s which means he also possesses good power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 64.3 per cent with 10 of his last 11 wins coming by stoppage.
Lara’s defeats came at the hands of Julio Carabino by four-round split decision in his pro debut and he was stopped in 50 seconds by Eliot Chavez in May, 2018. His lone draw was a technical decision after two rounds with Josh Warrington in September, 2021 when the fight was stopped due to a cut to Lara’s eye from an accidental headbutt.
Lara had made a name for himself seven months earlier when he decked the previously unbeaten IBF Featherweight Champion Warrington in the fourth round and then stopped him in the ninth in an upset. Up until then, his level of opposition wasn’t the greatest but all opponents entered the ring with winning records.
Wood surprised a lot of people with his excellent performance against Xu in his first test against an upper-echelon boxer and then replicated it against Conlan by stopping them both in the final round. He obviously has great stamina and carries his power until the late rounds. In addition, he was behind on points against Conlan when he stopped him. Lara is 10 years younger than the champion and is going to be tough to beat though due to his aggressive, hard-punching style. He’s likely going to have to stop Wood to beat him, drop him along the way or dominate the fight to get the decision in the UK and I think he might just pull it off.
The power-punching Lara leaves the ring as the new champion.
Play: Lara -260 @ BetOnline.ag
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Leigh Wood betting • Mauricio Lara betting