Josh Warrington and Mauricio Lara Keeping It Bitter and Personal
Animosity is a noun that is synonymous with the sport of boxing. Sometimes it can run hot between fighters, then tails off once they fight each other and land their pound of flesh. Then there are instances where it can linger on with no end in sight. That looks to be the case between two-time IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington (31-1-1, 8 KOs) and world-ranked featherweight contender Mauricio Lara (24-2-1, 17 KOs).
Warrington and Lara fought twice, previously. In March 2021, Lara scored a shocking ninth-round upset stoppage over Warrington. A rematch occurred in September 2021. That fight ended in a two-round technical draw after Lara could not continue after suffering a cut from a headbutt.
IT’S DEEPLY PERSONAL
Lara feels there are unresolved issues with Warrington and is still quite bitter toward the IBF 126-pound champ. Following a third-round stoppage win over Jose Sanmartin in October 2022, Lara said he’s hungry for a third fight with Warrington and wants to end his career.
Warrington is in training camp preparing for a title defense against mandatory challenger Luis Alberto Lopez on December 10. When asked about Lara’s recent comments during an exclusive interview with UK media outlet Boxing Social, the IBF champ held nothing bout when it came to how he feels about his rival.
“What a fucking bell-pipe. I’ve given him his biggest fucking payday of his career. He wants to be grateful, he’ll be a fucking multi-millionaire in pesos. Fucking, those ungrateful cunts. Like, he’s making it personal. What a wanker.”
Warrington went on to say that he’s pissed at the narrative following the second fight with Lara. Many fans believe that the champ was still unsure of himself and somehow relieved that fight ended the way it did. But the pride of Leeds, England counters that claim, saying he was deeply disappointed in the outcome.
WILL WE EVER SEE A TRILOGY?
After regaining the IBF strap with a seventh-round stoppage over Kiko Martinez in March 2022, Warrington’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, said another battle with Lara is a viable option. But Warrington seems more interested in fights with either WBA Super champ Leo Santa Cruz in the United States or an all-British showdown with WBA ‘regular’ champ Leigh Wood.
The reality is that Warrington carries a higher profile than Lara. Unless Lara works up his way to becoming his mandatory contender, there will be no impetus for Warrington to get in the ring with him again, especially with fights like Santa Cruz and Wood on the table that are far more profitable. Warrington and Lara could settle this once and for all by doing it again. But don’t look for that fight to happen soon, if ever.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.