Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing have announced a mega card for the Nottingham Arena on September 24th, live on DAZN. The show will be headlined by local man Leigh Wood who takes on Mexico’s Mauricio Lara in a tasty featherweight affair. The winner is set to clash against the emerging victor of the world title unification bout between Leo Santa Cruz and Rey Vargas, a fight expected to be announced imminently following the WBA’s approval of both contests this week.
Lara tore up the script in one of the biggest upsets of 2021 when he demolished Leeds’ Josh Warrington in seven rounds, with the pair only managing two rounds in the rematch before the contest was stopped due to an accidental head clash causing a vicious cut to the Mexican, forcing the bout to be called a technical draw. Warrington has since claimed the IBF title with an emphatic victory over Kiko Martinez in March, leaving Lara as the 126-pound divisions bogeyman with few opponents seemingly willing to step in with him. That was until Wood, to his immense credit, has stepped up to the challenge when he might have been forgiven for taking an easier touch while waiting for the Santa Cruz-Vargas result, especially given the hellacious twelve rounds he went with Michael Conlan six months ago where Wood came up with one of the greatest comebacks seen inside a British ring.
The world title affairs are not limited to the main event as Doncaster’s Terri Harper stepping up to 154-pounds, despite having only moved up to lightweight in March, to clash with super-welterweight champion Hannah Rankin. Harper surrendered her world title at 130-pounds last November in a second-round stoppage defeat to Alycia Baumgardner and now looks to become a two-weight world champion against an improved Rankin on September 24th. The Scot meanwhile dusted herself down after a 2020 defeat to Savannah Marshall, claiming the WBA strap versus Maria Lindberg over ten rounds in London. Rankin no doubt harbours strong ambitions of her own, including a potential mega showdown versus the winner of the upcoming super-welterweight unification between Natasha Jonas and Patricia Berghult next month.
The in-form Maxi Hughes faces arguably his toughest challenge yet as he takes on Sheffield’s Kid Galahad at 135-pounds. Hughes upset Jono Carroll in 2020 out in Dubai before putting an impressive streak together which has seen him dispose of the likes of Jovanni Straffon and Ryan Walsh in his last two fights. Galahad meanwhile steps up two divisions from featherweight following his defeat to the aforementioned Martinez in his home city last year.
DAZN will broadcast, with more undercard announcements expected in the coming weeks.