Mauricio Lara is unbeaten in the UK
Leigh Wood is the former world champion
Lara stopped Wood earlier this year
Mauricio Lara v Leigh Wood
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Hotly anticipated rematch
It's the rematch UK fight fans have been longing for, and on Saturday at the Manchester Arena, Britain's Leigh Wood gets his shot at revenge when facing WBA world featherweight champion Mauricio Lara.
The hard-hitting visitor has already scored brutal knockout wins over Wood and the Leeds Warrior Josh Warrington.
Lara is a big-punching and fearless fighter who boasts a solid boxing base off which he launches his famous concussive attacks to the head and body.
Lethal Leigh knows all about that power after being stopped inside seven rounds by the champion in Nottingham earlier this year.
Will Saturday bring repeat or revenge?
Bronco's no cowboy
Lara is a sharp-shooter famed for ruining many big nights and upsetting more than a few champions. He has already fought three times in the UK and is yet to lose, shocking Warrington in round nine over two years ago.
Mauricio also dealt with Wood in round seven of his last outing, meaning he's fast becoming a fan favourite in the UK. The away fighter is here to gate-crash the party, of course, but boxing fans in the UK know the game and always appreciate talent.
Lara shot to fame in February 2021 when pitched against Warrington at the Wembley Arena in a non-title fight. That win remains the standout of his career, but it wasn't a one-off or a case of freak luck.
Unbeaten when running into the Mexican, Josh was out-fought, out-worked, and eventually overpowered. The former champion sunk to the canvas in round four under heavy fire and was stopped five rounds later when referee Howard Foster saved Josh from further punishment.
Ducking between the ropes as a respected champion with a 26-2-1 record, he has stopped 19 of his opponents, including each of his last three. Lara hasn't gone the distance in five, a run going back to December 2020. Lara is available to back on the Sportsbook at 1/31.32 with another KO/TKO an obvious choice from the method of victory market at 1/21.49.
Lethal is here to right a few wrongs
Former world champion Wood worked tirelessly to scramble to the head of the division, causing more than a few upsets of his own along the way. He isn't the biggest name in British boxing, but he's one of the most exciting, and his popularity is rising.
The 34-year-old from Nottingham arrives as the challenger with an impressive record showing 26 wins, three defeats, 16 KO victories, and a pair of losses inside the distance.
At the Ice Arena in Hull, Gavin McDonnell was the only other man to stop Lethal Lee. In his prime, McDonnell was a cracker, and he wasted no time proving it against Wood, dropping him in round one before tying things up in the middle rounds following a sustained period of heavy pressure.
Critics may say Wood struggles when unable to set the pace, which certainly looked to be the case when last sharing a ring with Lara.
If Wood can win the world championship belt on Saturday, it would provide in shot in the arm for the fighter, his team, and British boxing. To get another champion on the books early in the season would be fantastic for all involved, but nothing comes easy in this game.
Fancy Wood to win the rematch to level things up at 1-1 and perhaps force the trilogy? Back Wood at 12/53.35 to win the bout or go for the KO/TKO at 7/17.80.
Lara can't and won't be stopped
I'm a big fan of Wood and love how he silenced his critics by winning major titles in a competitive division, but Lara is a different animal. He'll pick up where he left off against Leigh last time, going on the front foot, forcing the pace, and overwhelming his opposite number.
Will Lara win again? It's far more likely than Wood finding the improvement needed from last time to stop such a confident and strong champion. Back Lara to win by KO/TKO in the later rounds, giving him a chance to slow his opponent and put him in a prime position to score another showreel win.