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Josh Warrington loses unbeaten record after stunning KO

Unknown Mexican Mauricio Lara knocked out the Leeds boxer in the ninth round.

Image: Dave Thompson

BOXING’S CAPACITY TO produce stunning upsets was visible once again at Wembley tonight as Mauricio Lara, an unknown 22-year-old from Mexico, knocked out Josh Warrington in the ninth round.

Warrington, ranked the No1 featherweight in the world, has some major scalps on his CV, including victories over Irish rivals Carl Frampton, Martin Lindsay and Patrick Hyland.

Add to that the names of Lee Selby, Kid Galahad and Bernard Dunne’s old foe, Kiko Martinez, and you can see why he was a huge favourite to win fight No.31 of his career.

Instead he lost for the first time in his professional career. And deservedly so.

Lara, a 22-year-old with a 21-2 record leading into this fight, boxed the fight of his life, surviving a scrappy opening couple of rounds before he showed a little more self-belief in the third.

The fight changed in the fourth; Lara catching Warrington with a heavy left hook which rocked the Leeds man backwards. With time running out in the round, the Mexican showed maturity and calmness, stalking Warrington patiently before he found his range, catching the Leeds-fighter with another left hook.

Down he went.

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While he survived the round, Warrington never looked comfortable thereafter, even if the fifth saw him deliver some damage of his own, landing a big left.

The sixth, seventh and eighth rounds were, comparatively speaking, not quite as dramatic – but Lara, the huge underdog, looked in control. By the ninth, he showed his strength again, hurting Warrington, ending the fight after 54 seconds of the round.

Afterwards Lara said: “This is simply been a great night. I’m really happy for my family back in Mexico.

“No one gave me a chance coming into this fight but we worked really hard for this fight. I was confident from the start.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “How he got through the fourth round was incredible. His bravery was unbelievable. It is a crushing blow for Josh and it is back to the drawing board now.

“No excuses, Josh was beaten by a hungry fighter. We want Josh to have a long, long rest and get him out fighting again. That was a brutal fight. We have an option of fighting Lara again. This was a devastating career defeat. But he will come again. He is a great fighter.”

Afterwards Johnny Nelson, the former cruiserweight world champion, said the fight should have been stopped earlier. “Josh needs to be taken to hospital. That was a brutal fight.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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