Had you heard of Mauricio Lara before he secured a fight with Josh Warrington? Probably not. But you surely know his name after Saturday afternoon.
The 33-1 underdog erased the undefeated record of Warrington and he wasn’t remotely nice about it. He dropped him in the 4th and Warrington basically fought the remainder of the bout quasi-conscious before Lara finished him off in the 9th on DAZN.
Lara’s clubbing punches were simply too much for the rising star at featherweight, whom the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ranked #2 the division. It really ought to have ended in the 4th — after Lara hurt him late in the round, he knocked him down with a left, then hammered him around like an inflatable bop bag.
This kind of fight is a very dangerous kind for a fighter who had just enough bravery and fortitude to stay on his feet for too damn long. The commentating team said the ref “did him a favor” for letting it continue in the 4th, before realizing that were wrong in the 9th when Lara went downstairs with a right and upstairs with a left to put Warrington down for good.
The bout had slight echoes of another British boxer taking an upset beatdown: heavyweight Anthony Joshua’s loss to Andy Ruiz, when Joshua was basically out on his feet after a knockdown and then got KO’d. But people knew Ruiz, for all his visible plumpness, could fight a little. Nobody knew Lara (well, probably nobody). He was a rugged customer, good punch variety and not a bad counterpuncher with some clear power. Is he that good, or was this a fluke? Warrington has a rematch clause, but don’t expect to see him in the ring for a while after a scary beating.
- It was almost a bad card for both British headliners. Junior lightweight Zelfa Barrett definitely got a favor from the judges in his tough battle against the seemingly immortal Kiko Martinez, who probably deserved the victory. Instead, one judge scored it 116-113 for Barrett, and two — TWO! — judges scored it 118-111 for Barrett. You’d say “those are about as bad as scorecards get in boxing,” but that kind of bullshit happens too often to think it’s all that out of the norm.
- Featherweight Leigh Wood scored a big KO over Reece Mould in a fine scrap that otherwise wouldn’t warrant a mention if not for the fineness of the scrap and the bigness of the knockout.
- Dalton Smith is indeed a nice-looking prospect at junior welterweight.
(Photo: Mauricio Lara finishes Josh Warrington; via)