Josh Warrington Says If He Can’t Beat Lara It’s Time to Call It a Day
Josh Warrington (30-1, 7 KOs) is still licking his wounds and recovering from his upset defeat to Mauricio Lara (22-2, 15 KOs) on February 13. The former IBF World Featherweight champion was battered throughout and ultimately stopped in nine rounds. Wounded and gutted, he has expressed a desire to fight Lara again. Promoter Eddie Hearn believes a rematch will happen by late summer. The fight with Lara was supposed to be a setup for big-money opportunities at both 126 and 130-pounds. That is no longer the case.
During a very frank discussion with the British sports press on February 22, Warrington now says his career is at stake. In his opinion, he must gain revenge against Lara. As he explained, if he cannot defeat Lara, there is no reason to carry on.
“More or less, yeah. There is no fucking point hanging about. If I can’t beat this guy, I’m not mixing it with (WBC titlist) Gary Russell. No one is going to believe I’m going to mix it with him or (WBO king) Emanuel Navarrete.
What’s the point? Maybe I could step up to super featherweight for a payday. I’m not prepared to do that because it’s a hard sport. So, if I can’t get through this guy, then it’s like, ‘what are you going to do Josh?’ I think that goes to show how confident I am of beating him in a rematch. I’ve been eating Ben and Jerry’s for the past week, but I’d fight him tomorrow.”
Warrington said that he never fully recovered after being hurt in round one by Lara. The punishment was so severe that he says he cannot remember getting knocked down in rounds four and nine.
TRYING TO RATIONALIZE DEFEAT
Fighting for the first time in sixteen months, the 31-year-old now believes he was stale and flat. From his mental approach to his pre-fight warmup, everything was just off.
“It was like I was too relaxed. It was like I was having a sparring session with a novice. I got in the ring. I bounced off the ropes, looking at him like fucking hell, bless him, he’s filling a void here. I’m winking at him and stuff like that, I’ve never had that mindset.
All through fight week, I was in the mindset of this is massive. And then when it came to fight day, I had my feet up. I was too relaxed.”
Many will view Warrington’s complaints as petty excuses. In the era of fights being contested during a global pandemic, all boxers must adjust.
Ultimately, he will get his chance at redemption by facing Lara again. If he wants to get himself and his career back on track, nothing else matters.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.