Last March, Leigh Wood was pressured to return again from down huge on the scorecards to attain a Hail Mary Knockout of the Year towards Michael Conlan within the twelfth spherical. On Saturday, Wood appeared to have a transparent lead over Mauricio Lara because the second half of the combat started, solely to undergo his personal comeback knockout loss. Wood ceded his WBA world featherweight champion to Lara in entrance of Wood’s hometown crowd in Nottingham, England, when he was stopped within the seventh spherical.
Wood and Lara was a pairing anticipated to provide fireworks and the combat did ship loads of motion till a fight-finishing hook from Lara.
Lara had strong moments within the second spherical, together with touchdown an enormous proper hand that briefly buckled Wood’s legs. Wood was saved from the following Lara onslaught when the bell sounded to finish the spherical.
After being harm and sporting a big reduce over his left eye from a headbutt, Wood put collectively an incredible third spherical to tug himself proper again into the combat. A blueprint for achievement emerged for Wood within the spherical, with sharp lead proper palms reducing by means of openings in Lara’s protection.
Wood continued to comply with that plan for the subsequent a number of rounds, mixing in digging photographs to the ribs that mixed with the excessive tempo of the combat to seemingly fatigue Lara, who started respiration together with his mouth open.
Wood’s timing and velocity firmly took over, whilst he was clearly conscious of the hazard Lara’s energy introduced. As Lara would come ahead making an attempt to make use of that energy to flip the momentum again in his path, Wood would land crisp counters and escape hazard.
It solely takes one punch to show a combat round, nonetheless, and Lara discovered that punch late within the seventh spherical. With Wood firmly in management and pulling away on the scorecards, each males loaded up left hooks. It was Lara’s hook that landed first, dropping Wood to his again.
While Wood was capable of beat the depend, he appeared briefly unsteady on his toes. As the referee was prepared to permit the combat to proceed, and with Lara ready to launch an assault, Wood’s nook threw within the towel, ending the combat as Wood protested the choice.
The official time of the stoppage was the two:54 mark of the seventh spherical. All three official scorecards had Wood up by scores of 58-56, 58-56 and 59-55 on the time of the stoppage.
After the combat, promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that Wood did have a rematch clause within the contract because the defending champion, with Wood confirming he needed one other crack at Lara by merely saying, “Absolutely.”
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