Josh Warrington will not be defending the IBF featherweight title when he takes on Mauricio Lara on February 13 as the Leeds-born fighter has vacated the belt after the governing body refused to sanction a proposed unification bout against Xu Can.
Josh Warrington v Mauricio Lara Betting Tips & Predictions
Let’s be honest, this should be a preview about Josh Warrington defending his IBF featherweight title against WBA (Regular) featherweight champion Xu Can, but unfortunately, we have to wait a little bit longer for that bout.
Warrington was all ready to lock horns with Xu, but negotiations fell through after the Chinese fighter was apparently reluctant to fight in an arena without any spectators. And now the IBF have refused to sanction the fight, so Warrington has opted to drop the belt in order to face Xu.
There is a lot of hype around Warrington at the moment, and he is eager to prove he is the king of the featherweight division with a devastating performance that will get him noticed in America as well as England.
Despite his immense punching power, Warrington has only won seven of his 30 professional fights by knockout – including his last one against Sofiane Takoucht in October 2019.
Mexico’s Lara will head to England – most likely Leeds in Yorkshire – to take on Warrington with a record of 21 wins and two defeats – with 14 of those wins coming by way of knockout. On paper, his stats look impressive, but the truth is he has never faced off against anyone as good or dangerous as Warrington.
I have already mentioned that Warrington is not the knockout king we all expect him to be, but he will pick up KO number eight on February 13. I honestly cannot see Lara putting up much a fight, Warrington wants fireworks and is determined to entertain the fans watching from home, so I expect this to be over by the end of the fourth round.
Road To Josh Warrington v Mauricio Lara
I don’t think it’s too disrespectful to say that Lara has been put in the ring with Warrington, so that the ‘Leeds Warrior’ can stay in shape and get some rounds under his belt as he waits for fans to return to arenas so that Xu can get back to work.
Warrington has already admitted he cannot understand why Xu is reluctant to fight without spectators in attendance, but he knows he cannot just wait around and hope that fight will be made – he has to keep in the spotlight and fight whenever he can.
Lara has punching power – you can’t deny that with 14 knockouts on his resume, but part of me can’t take his record seriously. He has only really fought Mexican fighters, which reminds me of the storyline in the movie Creed.
The main character Donnie Johnson (Creed) was hyped up as an unbeaten fighter as he got ready for his professional debut, but they included amateur bar fights in Tijuana to try and make his record sound better than it was. And I think that is what happening with Lara.
Hopefully I am wrong, and he proves to be a worthy fighter for Warrington. But deep down, this is a mis-match and I can see Warrington being more out of breath walking to the ring to Kaiser Chiefs song ‘I predict a Riot’, than he will be once the bell goes.
Josh Warrington v Mauricio Lara Reaction
Josh Warrington: “It’s disappointing we couldn’t have the IBF title on the line, but I can’t let those decisions stand in the way of me going down in British boxing history by facing the very best in the division. I’ve always dreamt about winning the Ring belt, for me it leaves no doubt who the king of the division is. Right now, my mind and focus is on Lara for February 13 and then I’m looking to pick up that beautiful red and blue belt.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Managing Director: “It’s so important for Josh to be in a mega-fight after Lara on February 13. He has his heart set on the Ring belt and it’s up to us to make the Can or Russell fights for April or early May. I’ve been working hard with Robert Diaz of Golden Boy to close Xu Can and also had several conversations with Luis De Cubas regarding a Gary Russell bout – both fights are Fight of the Year contenders.”
February 13th I’m back!
15 month absence from the ring, a little bit of pent up energy and frustration must be let out.
Here we go…🥊💥 pic.twitter.com/s0dt63ldlk
— Josh Warrington (@J_Warrington) January 15, 2021
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) January 15, 2021