LSC Fight Off, Wood vs Lara Headlines Matchroom September Show In Nottingham
Leigh Wood will defend his WBA Featherweight championship against Mexican dangerman Mauricio Lara, who produced one of the biggest upsets in a British ring when he stopped Josh Warrington last year, on September 24 at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham; a Matchroom On DAZN UK headliner.
On Friday, August 5, the WBA announced that the purse bids for the mandatory fight between the WBA (Super) Champion Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz (38-2-1) and their Regular Champion, Britain’s Leigh Wood (26-2) were cancelled because both sides struck a deal. Despite this, there have recently been rumours/reports suggesting Santa Cruz vs Wood might not occur next. Frank Smith confirmed this on Sunday.
Wood knocked out Michael Conlan in the final round of their fight of the year back in March in his first defence of the title he won against Xu Can. Lara ruthlessly stopped Emilio Sanchez in three rounds on the Chocolatito Martinez undercard also in March.
“I maybe have a handful of fights left and I want them to be my biggest,” said Wood. “I want to be tested. I’m filling arenas now and I want to keep that momentum going. Every fight should be a step forward, not backwards. Mauricio Lara is dangerous but high-risk high reward, I’m confident I can do what Josh Warrington couldn’t do and get the job done.”
Wood vs Lara Chief Support: Hughes vs Galahad
Doncaster’s IBO Lightweight Champion Maxi Hughes (25-5-2) will defend his championship against Sheffield’s Kid Galahad (28-2).
Hughes is on what can only be described as a ‘career-changing’ run in his last five contests which started with a major upset win over Jono Carroll. He went on to take the 0 off of dangerous Kazakh Viktor Kotochigov, came in on late notice to win the British title by stoppage, beat Mexican Jovanni Straffon for the IBO lightweight title and most recently successfully defended against Ryan Walsh.
Galahad won the IBF Featherweight championship on a second attempt, after controversially losing to Josh Warrington in 2019, against Jazza Dickens at fight camp last year. Galahad then got the opportunity to headline in the arena in his hometown of Sheffield in a relatively straightforward defence but was brutally knocked out by Kiko Martinez.
Galahad was looking to move up to a 130-pounds and agreed a fight with Jorge Castaneda for March but had to pull out with injury. Galahad now realises that moving up one weight class isn’t enough and will jump straight to lightweight in a very tough ask for a man that is coming off a bad knockout and almost 12 months of inactivity by the time he fights.
Wood vs Lara Undercard: Rankin vs Harper
Former WBC super-featherweight world champion Terri Harper (12-1-1) moves up in weight to challenge Scotland’s Hannah Rankin (12-5) for Rankin’s WBA super-welterweight world titles in a big and unexpected step-up for Harper. Rankin was rumoured to be fighting Jonas until a stronger offer was presented by Matchroom.
Harper was upset by Alycia Baumgardner, who fights Mikaela Mayer on the shield-marshall undercard, last November in Sheffield and now looks to be a two-time, two-weight world champion. Harper rebounded by winning the WBA Intercontinental lightweight title against Yamila Belen Abellaneda in March.
Rankin outpointed Sweden’s Maria Lindberg in London on Fightzone to wine her world title and has made the one defence headlining at the prestigious OVO Hydro arena in Glasgow. Rankin previously suffered defeats in title attempts against the likes of Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields.