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WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood (26-2-0, 16KOs) returns to his beloved Nottingham to take on the dangerous Mexican Mauricio Lara (25-2-1, 18KOs) on Saturday night.

The pair were initially set to face-off in September last year before Wood was forced to pull out through injury.

The fight was nevertheless rescheduled and the two will finally come together in what many predict to be a fiery encounter in the East Midlands.

Wood, who was upgraded to full WBA champion after Leo Santa Cruz vacated the belt in December, fights eleven months on from his stunning last-gasp victory over Michael Conlan.

Lara meanwhile burst onto the world scene when he disposed of former two-time world champion Josh Warrington in nine rounds in February 2021.

Wood will be back in front of his adoring Nottingham fans at the city’s Arena on Saturday night. Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

An immediate rematch ended prematurely following a cut to the Mexican but the 24-year-old has since secured two three-round knockouts Stateside to remind the boxing world of the danger he poses.

The winner on Saturday night sets up huge showdowns with the likes of newly-crowned IBF champion Luis Alberto Lopez, Warrington and Conlan.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that a rematch clause is however in place should Lara emerge victorious on Saturday night.

Lara has won 18 of his 25 victories inside the distance so far. Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

Sheffield super-lightweight Dalton Smith (13-0-0, 10KOs) looks to make the second defence of his British title against London’s Billy Allington (10-1-4) in the chief support.

Smith, who is touted as one of the most promising up and coming British talents, overcame Kaisee Benjamin in November by unanimous decision.

The 26-year-old has spoken of his desire to win the British title outright and will move one step closer with a win over the heavy underdog Allington on Saturday.

The latter last appeared in a six-round draw versus Ben Fields in November.

Smith is undefeated in 13 pro outings. Picture by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

Ireland’s heavy-handed lightweight Gary Cully (15-0-0, 9KOs) returns in a ten-round encounter against Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo Flores (10-0-1, 5KOs).

Cully secured a first-round knockout in his first fight since penning a promotional contract with Matchroom Boxing in November.

Flores meanwhile went the ten-round distance for the first time as a pro in May 2022.

Liverpool’s Sam Maxwell (16-1-0, 11KOs) will also feature in a six-round super-lightweight contest versus Walsall’s Shaun Cooper (13-4-0).

Maxwell is tipped to fight British champion Smith in April providing he avoids defeat this weekend.

Former Team GB fighter Aaron Bowen makes his professional debut over six rounds at super-middleweight.

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BBTV caught up with Eddie Hearn ahead of the big fight in Nottingham.

FULL CARD:

  • Leigh Wood (26-2-0) vs Mauricio Lara (25-2-1) – 12 x 3 (Featherweight, WBA title)
  • Dalton Smith (13-0-0) vs Billy Allington (10-1-4) – 12 x 3 (Super-lightweight, British title)
  • Gary Cully (15-0-0) vs Wilfredo Flores (10-0-1) – 10 x 3 (Lightweight)
  • Cheavon Clarke (4-0-0) vs Israel Duffus (20-8-0) – 10 x 3 (Cruiserweight)
  • Gamal Yafai (19-2-0) vs Diego Alberto Ruiz (23-6-1) – 10 x 3 (Super-bantamweight)
  • Kieron Conway (18-3-1) vs Jorge Silva (20-7-0) – 8 x 3 (Super-middleweight)
  • Junaid Bostan (4-0-0) vs Peter Kramer (12-7-3) – 8 x 3 (Super-middleweight)
  • Sam Maxwell (16-1-0) vs Shaun Cooper (13-4-0) – 6 x 3 (Super-lightweight)
  • Aaron Bowen (debut) vs Mathieu Gomes (5-4-0) – 6 x 3 (super-middleweight)

TV: DAZN

Promoted by Matchroom Boxing.

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