Josh Warrington has not forgotten Mauricio Lara – Ring News 24

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Josh Warrington

IBF featherweight champion Josh ‘The Leeds Warrior’ Warrington 31-1-1 (8) still bristles at the mention of the name Mauricio ‘Bronco’ Lara 25-2-1 (18).

Mexican Lara handed the 32-year-old Warrington his first professional defeat when he stopped him in nine rounds in February last year.

The pair had a rematch seven months later that ended prematurely when Lara was cut over the left eye in the second round by an accidental head clash, forcing the fight to be stopped and declared a technical draw.

Warrington bounced back from the Lara fights to claim the IBF strap from Kiko Martinez 44-11-2 (31) in seven frames in March.

This Saturday night he will defend his title against Luis Alberto ‘El Venado’ Lopez 26-2 (15) at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England. But he hasn’t forgotten Lara or what his critics had to say about him in the wake of his lone loss.

“It was a bit of a wake up call, was Mauricio Lara – the first one,” said Warrington. “I let my guard down. I had the Lara defeat and then all of a sudden it was, ‘he’s finished, he’s had his time in the sun.’ That’s not the case. It was only a short time in the sun and I feel like I was just getting going.

“People say he’s dangerous and he’s my boogeyman – fuck that, I know that with my head on it I can beat him easy. Wanker isn’t he? Fucking wanker. I was number one in the world… I lost to him and then I was down in eighth and ninth.

“They were saying I was done. Guys who a few years ago when I won the world title were nowhere to be seen. Now all of a sudden, they were above me. How does that work out? Keep on fucking doubting me. I wasn’t supposed to win the British title but now I’m a two-time world champion.”

As far as Lopez is concerned, Warrington said: “Luis Alberto Lopez is full of confidence. He’s showing the champ no respect whatsoever. We know he’s got power; we know he knows how to finish people. He strongly believes that he’s going to do what his Mexican friend Mauricio Lara did and come over here and blast me out. I’ve got other ideas.

“I feel the strongest I ever have done in my career. I’m sitting down on my punches a lot more. The power has always been there. I’ve never really focused on bringing it but now I am. I like them fucking early nights to be honest with you. It won’t go the 12. I’m fully focused on doing a job and getting the show closed early.”

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