The WBA featherweight title is heading to Mexico after Mauricio Lara produced a shocking seventh-round stoppage over champion Leigh Wood at the Nottingham Arena.
Trainer Ben Davison threw in the towel after Lara floored Wood with a devastating left hook in the final 20 seconds of the round.
Wood was boxing well up until that point, timing the Mexican with straight rights from medium range against an at times lethargic looking Lara.
The Mexican enjoyed a strong finish to the second but struggled to pin Wood down as the fight developed.
The crucial moment came in the seventh however when Wood was left flat on his back after a well-timed left by the Mexican.
Wood’s legs were heavy but the Brit bravely climbed to his feet as referee Michael Alexander began to administer a count.
Alexander reached ten with the bout set to continue before the towel flew over the ropes from Davison.
Wood protested while celebrations began in a jubilant Lara corner.
Tempers flared in the immediate aftermath as Lara spotted former opponent Josh Warrington sitting ringside and began to gesture towards the Leeds man.
Warrington, who was on punditry duty for DAZN on the night, claimed later in the broadcast that Lara had spat at him.
A ruckus broke out at ringside but Lara nevertheless had added Wood’s scalp to the one he claimed against Warrington two years ago.
Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that a rematch clause was in place for the fight with a second presumably set to take place later in the year.
Elsewhere on the card, Sheffield’s Dalton Smith made the second defence of his British super-lightweight title with a wide unanimous decision over Billy Allington.
Smith floored the Londoner in the eighth before a clash of heads opened a cut over the champion’s left eye in the following round.
The three judges ringside found Smith a comfortable winner (120-107, 19-108 twice) but the Sheffield man was left frustrated by his performance on the night.
“After the first knockdown I thought I would’ve got him out but credit to him. He was holding on for dear life, but I should’ve got him out of there to be honest”, Smith told DAZN post-fight.
The 26-year-old moves to 14-0(10KOs) and is set to face Sam Maxwell on April 29th at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena.
Irish lightweight Gary Cully produced another impressive knockout against Puerto Rican Wilfredo Flores.
A perfectly-timed left floored Flores before Cully set about the 33-year-old when the bout restarted.
Straight lefts out pummelled Flores on the ropes before referee Howard Foster stopped the contest with 1:18 remaining in the second.
Cully moved to 16-0(10KOs) as a professional and promoter Hearn confirmed he will fight in the chief support to Katie Taylor’s rematch with Amanda Serrano in Ireland on May 20th.
Leeds’ Maxi Hughes are among the names who have been offered the bout.
Cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke went the distance for the first time as a pro in a ten-round encounter versus late replacement Israel Duffus.
Diego Ruiz scored three knockdowns on the way to a wide ten-round decision versus former European super-bantamweight champion Gamal Yafai.
Sheffield’s Junaid Boston also landed his fifth knockout in as many outings at super-welterweight.
Former Team GB fighter Aaron Bowen enjoyed a successful pro debut with a first-round stoppage.
- Mauricio Lara TKO R7 Leigh Wood (Featherweight, WBA title)
- Dalton Smith UD R12 Billy Allington (Super-lightweight, British title)
- Gary Cully TKO R2 Wilfredo Flores (Lightweight)
- Cheavon Clarke UD R10 Israel Duffus (Cruiserweight)
- Diego Ruiz UD R10 Gamal Yafai (Super-bantamweight)
- Kieron Conway PTS R8 Jorge Silva (Super-middleweight)
- Junaid Bostan TKO R7 Peter Kramer (Super-welterweight)
- Sam Maxwell PTS R6 Shaun Cooper (Super-lightweight)
- Aaron Bowen KO R1 Mathieu Gomes (Super-middleweight)
Featured image: Courtesy of Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.