Josh Warrington was floored and ruthlessly finished by Mexico’s Mauricio Lara in a sensational knockout loss that put a dent in the former IBF Featherweight World Champion’s ambitious plans.
‘The Leeds Warrior’ endured a stunning upset defeat as he was dropped and nearly stopped in the fourth round before Lara sent him crashing to the canvas again in the ninth to end Warrington’s unbeaten record.
Lara, 22, landed a heavy knockdown in the fourth round and Warrington struggled to make the bell, his legs barely able to support him. Despite showing grit and huge heart, Warrington was never able to fully recover.
In the ninth, a barrage of left hooks and a hard 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.
“The reason I performed so well is because of the support of my family,” said Lara. “I think Josh Warrington needed to know that this fight wasn’t going to be easy. He shouldn’t have been making plans for future fights. I am extremely happy at the moment.
“We just had to take our time and wait. He was a great champion, that’s why he continued to fight on and be strong and have good heart. I didn’t want to tire myself out too much. I had to take it round by round and wait for that final blow when it came in the ninth.
“We were very confident in our team in what we could do. Of course, there is a surprise when it actually comes off. We’re happy with our performance. I know I am heavy-handed and that’s what showed during the fight. I’m really really happy. I’m crazy happy.
“I’m looking forward to going back home to see my daughter and my wife. I’m looking forward to spending time with them. There is a tinge of sadness that I can’t take the belt home. At least Mexicans know that they have a new number one going home with that victory. I will have a massive pizza, and I’m looking forward to it!”
The full fight results from Warrington vs Lara fight card can be found here.