By: Sean Crose
As they say, all it takes is a single punch. Defending WBA world featherweight champion Leigh Wood was cruising to a victory at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England on Saturday when a single shot fired off by challenger Mauricio Lara sent the talented Englishman to the mat and out of the fight. Up until that point, the taller, more fluid Wood was performing nicely behind a long jab while Lara worked to get inside. Although Lara was able to land effectively at times, it was defending champion Wood who controlled the terrain up until the seventh, when the fight ending shot was delivered.
Yet even the majority of the seventh round appeared to essentially be more of the same for Wood and Lara. It wasn’t until the final minute of the chapter, when Lara fired a left hook Jack Dempsey would have been impressed with, that Wood was caught clean, his reign as world champion subsequently coming to a sudden halt. To his credit, Wood was able to rise to his feet before the referee could complete his count. The man appeared so wobbly, however, that his corner threw in the towel. “Leigh Wood is a great champion,” Lara good naturedly stated afterwards. “He hits really hard, he’s an intelligent boxer, but I’m just absolutely delighted tonight.”
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