Diabolical judging, poor protection hit headlines as Mauricio Lara shocks
Mauricio Lara blasted out josh Warrington on Saturday night in a show marred by horrific judging and poor safety for the co and main event.
The Leeds man was clearly done by the fourth round against the away man but was allowed to continue for five more punishment rounds.
Warrington was floored and ruthlessly finished by the Mexican in a sensational knockout loss that put a dent in the former IBF Featherweight World Champion’s ambitious plans.
He endured a stunning upset defeat as he was dropped and nearly stopped in the fourth round.
Lara sent him crashing to the canvas again in the ninth to end Warrington’s unbeaten record.
The 22-year-old victor landed a heavy knockdown in the fourth round, and Warrington struggled to make the bell. His legs were barely able to support him.
Despite showing grit and a huge heart, Warrington was never able to recover fully.
In the ninth, a barrage of left hooks and a stiff left hand from ‘Bronco’ sent Warrington toppling to the canvas for a second time, and referee Howard Foster waved it off to send shockwaves through the division.
That description doesn’t tell the whole story, though. Warrington was allowed to carry on and given the benefit of the doubt when he clearly was on a hiding to nothing.
The beating taken has probably taken years off his career. There’s also a rematch clause that Warrington, as the Kid Galahad affair, is doubtful to accept.
In the co-feature, it wasn’t any better. If anything, it was worse as Zelfa Barrett withstood an aggressive assault by Spain’s Kiko Martinez to score a career-best victory with a unanimous decision in the chief support bout.
The Mancunian was troubled by Martinez’s power and strength, a former World Champion, but Barrett strongly finished the fight to secure victory with generous scores of 118-111 118 -111 and 116 113.
“That’s my style of boxing, putting pressure on and hit and move,” Barrett told Sky Sports.
“I got cut for the first time, and it threw me off, but we move on, I got the win. The fight was close, and it depends on what you like to see. Some people like pressure, some like boxing. I just did what I was told and listened to my uncle.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn took to the Sky camera after the fight to show his disgust for the judging.
He said: “This doesn’t do anyone any favors. Scoring 118-111, Kiko Martinez might as well not show up!”
Leigh Wood stopped Reece Mould with a brutal knockout in the ninth round of their clash for the vacant British Featherweight Title.
The Nottingham fighter, now trained by Ben Davison, floored Mould on three occasions, inflicting a final heavy knockdown in the ninth round to secure the vacant Lonsdale belt.
“It feels good,” said Wood. “It’s an excellent feeling, and I want to say thanks to Ben Davison because he’s made it happen.
“I hope Nicky Booth is looking down on me with a smile on his face. He inspired me to do it.
“He wanted me to pick up the gloves, and he came down to my awards evening when I was an amateur.
“This means everything. His story after he finished boxing was pretty said, so I hope I’ve done him proud.
“Reece Mould is a great fighter, and I believe he’s already past British Title level. He just came up against a kid who is way above British Title level tonight.
“I felt for him because I’ve been there. But I was there in 2014 against Gavin McDonnell. I know the feeling, and it rips your gut out. If he wants to come again, he’ll come again.
“Experience is key. You’ve just got to keep learning. There’s a lot of stigma around staying unbeaten and doing it all in one wrong.
“You know more from a loss than a win. You go back to the gym, and you analyze, and you work on your weaknesses. I’m living proof of that.”
Sheffield Super-Lightweight talent Dalton Smith moved to 7-0 (6 KOs) as he displayed his class in a clinical stoppage victory over late stand-in Ishmael Ellis, who did not come out for the fourth round.
‘Thunder’ swiftly broke down the resistance of Birmingham’s Ellis with a punishing assault, ramming in hurtful right hands during the third round. Trainer Jon Pegg didn’t send his man out for the fourth round.
“It was early on in the fight, and we had a long way to go,” said Smith. “Respect to his corner for that decision. I’m glad to be back out with another good performance.
“I think it was one of those fights where it could have been easy for me to take my eye off the ball. This was my third scheduled fight for this event. I had to stay switched on.
“Ellis is an awkward opponent, and if I went out there and tried to rush it, I could have made myself look scrappy. I had to be calm and collected. I knew the stoppage would come eventually.
“Knowing I had those ten rounds, mentally, I knew I could relax. I didn’t have to push and go and look for the stoppage. You could see at times I was stepping back. I wanted to enjoy myself.”
Leeds Featherweight Hopey Price produced a composed performance as he sealed a shutout 60-54 points victory over Daniel Mendoza after six rounds.
The unbeaten 20-year-old controlled Mendoza from range, occasionally stepping in to deliver thudding body shots, but the Nicaraguan stood firm until the final bell.
“As you say, the job is done,” said Price. “I’d had a lot of months out of the ring and a lot of late pullouts. It was a bit frustrating.
“It’s the first time I’ve had to deal with that in my professional career. My original scheduled fight was against a much taller opponent, the same height as myself.
“For it to be changed at the last minute was tricky. You saw how small he was. He was coming in low with his head.
“It was a very good learning curve for me. I picked my shots well. He was down at my knees near enough. I had to catch him when he was on his way back up.
“I caught him with some good shots. But I thought I showed some new things in my boxing. I was boxing on the inside.
“Overall, it was a good performance. I think you’ll really see the best of Hopey Price when the level of opposition goes up.”
Ricky Hatton-trained Featherweight prospect Ibrahim Nadim opened the night’s action by outboxing Jonny Phillips to progress to 3-0.
“I thought I did well,” said Nadim. “I just took my time and tried to outbox him. When he got tired, I put it on him.
“I was expecting him to come out fast, but I think he tried to save himself for the later rounds in case he needed it.
“I was planning to box him. In my first two fights, I came out too quickly. And I was getting hit with silly shots.
“I took my time and paced it. I thought I did well. A lot of people thought it would be a close fight. I outboxed him easily. I needed a fight like that to see where I’m at.”