Matchroom recently announced its much anticipated spring schedule this week. It all kicks off on February 13th when IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington (30-0) takes on Mauricio Lara (21-2) in what will be the Leeds native's first bout since returning to Matchroom.
Warrington was in talks to face WBA featherweight champion Xu Can (18-2) but the inability to stage that fight with a crowd meant that it couldn’t happen until crowds are allowed again. In the meantime Warrington will hope to shake off his ring rust vs. the relatively unknown Lara. The ongoing Pandemic caused Warrington to sit out for all of 2020 which was the first year he was inactive since making his debut in 2012.
Lara who only has two losses in his career, is undefeated in his last 11 bouts with a record of 10 wins and 1 no contest in that span. This will no doubt be the toughest bout in Lara’s career as he will look to spoil the champion’s plans. Warrington shouldn’t worry much about Lara who has never fought at the elite level. The only thing that could cause Warrington problems is Lara’s power as the Mexican has obtained a knockout in 67% of his wins which is much higher than Warrington’s 23% knockout rate. Should he get passed Lara, Warrington will finally get the chance to unify. Whether he unifies with Xu Can or any of the other featherweight champions is yet to be determined.
Also on the card is Shannon Courtenay (6-1) vs. an opponent that has not yet been announced. This will be a warm up bout in preparation for her rematch vs.Rachael Ball (7-1) for the vacant female WBA super bantamweight title that will take place April 10th on the undercard of Conor Benn vs. Samuel Vargas.Courtenay suffered her first loss vs. Ball last year but bounced back with a TKO victory over Dorota Norek.
Other bouts on this card include Dalton Smith vs. Lee Appleyard, Zelfa Barrett vs. Kiko Martinez, a British Featherweight title fight between Leigh Wood and Reece Mould and the return of top prospect Hopey Price.