Leigh Wood suffered a controversial TKO loss in his hometown clash with Mauricio Lara On Saturday, when the towel arrived after a knockout in the seventh round.
It looked like Wood was leading by five rounds to one when he crossed the midpoint at Nottingham, but Lara knocked the WBA featherweight champion down from almost nothing at the end of Round 7 with a brutal left hook. Wood passed the referee’s count, but 34-year-old coach Ben Davison threw in the towel with about 10 seconds left in the frame.
Wood was quick to appeal her coach’s decision, while Mexico’s Lara celebrated her championship win on the other side of the ring.
Both fighters had predicted that the competition at Motorpoint Arena would not exceed six rounds, and the match started at a frenetic pace.
Wood started off hard, but after a headshot a cut remained around his left eye, and Lara, 24, smeared the Briton’s blood on the champion’s face during a penalty sequence in Round 2.
However, Wood, who staggered by one-two at the end of that round, responded in the affirmative. The cross country fighter consistently timed his right midfielder to perfection throughout the next four rounds, backing Lara and giving a healthy lead.
The 34-year-old continued to impress in the seventh round, but Lara began sneaking through some left hands, eventually knocking Wood off the end of the frame with a hook.
Wood managed to stand up before the referee’s count was over, but a towel came from his corner as the champion prepared to resume boxing.
When asked later by DAZN if he would continue, Wood said: “Yeah, I’m a fighter, you know? I want to go until I can’t see anything anymore.
“(But with the knockdown) I made a mistake and paid the price.”
Wood’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, explained that the fighter had a rematch condition to face Lara again if he wanted to.
“Thank you very much, everyone,” Wood added. “I appreciate you coming out tonight. I’ll be back.”
The main event was Wood’s first game since the beginning. Fight of the Year contender with Michael Conlan In the same arena in March 2022. That night, Wood recovered after dealing a heavy blow to the bell in the first round. he will knock out Conlan in the last frame.
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