Mauricio Lara’s shocking upset KO win over Josh Warrington today in London has sent shockwaves through the featherweight division, and is the first big upset of 2021 in boxing, as Warrington tumbles from the top tier of the 126-pound class and the heavy-handed young Mexican fighter has marked his territory.
Lara (22-2, 15 KO) was unproven coming in, riding a winning streak but against pretty limited oppposition. He was a huge underdog, with Warrington (30-1, 7 KO) as much as a -2500 favorite in some places.
But Warrington was getting popped with Lara’s heavy hands from the early going, even in rounds Josh was winning, and then the 22-year-old Mexican dropped the home fighter in the fourth round — and it was a big knockdown. Warrington was barely able to survive the round, and the prevailing thought was that he was concussed and fighting on instinct from that point.
Warrington showed incredibly determination, toughness, and grit, but Lara’s thudding blows caught up again with a ninth round knockdown, which finished the fight. Warrington had suffered the first loss of his pro career, and Mauricio Lara became a bona fide featherweight contender, just like that.
There is already early talk of a rematch, with Eddie Hearn saying Warrington has a rematch clause, but we’ll see.
The boxing world — particularly in the UK — had a lot of thoughts on what we saw in this one:
I dont want to do a disservice to Lara, clearly very heavy handed. But the only reason I can see Warrington losing that is through complacency. Should have been stopped in the 4th. Punishment like that not good for anyone— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) February 13, 2021
What a night of drama! Absolutely devastated for Josh, he will be back - congrats to Lara a young man that changed his life tonight. The greatest sport of all.— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) February 13, 2021
Hunger is a great sauce #IKnowThisMuchIsTrue #WarringtonLara #VivaMexico congratulations Mauricio Lara get well soon #Warrington— Gary Spike OSullivan (@spike_osullivan) February 13, 2021
Absolutely gutted for @J_Warrington & his team . Boxing in this lockdown is dangerous no crowd for fighters who used to it , cannot get right sparring in especially when fighting Americans & Mexicans different rhythm .hope Josh is ok— Joe Gallagher (@JoeG) February 13, 2021
Congrats to Lara who fought 4 times last year in lockdown and been sparring World Champions . Took his opportunity and most probably feels hard done by not flying home with the World Title— Joe Gallagher (@JoeG) February 13, 2021
And that’s why people watch boxing— billyjoesaunders (@bjsaunders_) February 13, 2021
I really hope josh Warrington is ok after that, he’s a real top lad. In my opinion that fight should have been stopped that first knockdown, he took a lot of heavy shots & looked hurt for a big duration of the fight.— Josh Taylor (@JoshTaylorBoxer) February 13, 2021
This is a big reminder to never underestimate your opponent.
Amazing sportsmanship from Lara. He clearly knew the punishment he was inflicting throughout the fight. My thoughts go out to Warrington, hope he’s ok. https://t.co/p34PvJKpzV— Shane McGuigan (@McGuigans_Gym) February 13, 2021
Lara looked so much bigger for obvious reasons but @J_Warrington with a crowd would be a different fighter . He’s so used to walking out to a packed out Leeds crowd . But Lara at 22 years old, what a win— Brian Rose (@Brian_Lion_Rose) February 13, 2021
Just said on air on @DAZNBoxing how Warrington fought on after the 4th was so brave. But he was concussed. On autopilot. Never recovered and wasn’t doing a thing but taking more damage! Crazy night of boxing— Paul Smith (@PaulSmithJnr) February 13, 2021
Anyone else, anywhere else, in any other situation (apart from Josh Warrington just vacated his belt) that would have been stopped at the end of the 4th. Very very least at the start of the fifth when it was clear he hadn’t recovered at all. I hope he’s ok— Paul Smith (@PaulSmithJnr) February 13, 2021
Wow— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) February 13, 2021
Boxing is so so HARD!! Never forget this people... The most brutal sport in the world..— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) February 13, 2021
Tough break for Warrington, but you never wanna see any fighter go out like that. I just hope he can recover in the long run.#WarringtonLara— Jamel Herring (@JamelHerring) February 13, 2021
Boxing is a crazy game one of the biggest shocks of 2021. Off night for @J_Warrington. Think he will be back. Just goes to show ya have to be always switched on and be a 100% getting into the ring. pic.twitter.com/VUgsxEfXmR— Davey Oliver Joyce (@daveyoliver101) February 13, 2021
My guy @J_Warrington will come back stronger, with the fans there that man would beat anyone— Ohara Davies (@OharaDavies) February 13, 2021
Concussed after the 1st knockdown. Should of been pulled out. Hope he’s ok.— Kal Yafai (@iam_yafai) February 13, 2021
That’s boxing it happens to us all! Brush yourself down josh and come back a lose doesn’t define you! What a warrior #WarringtonLara— Charlie Edwards (@CEdwardsBoxing) February 13, 2021
Fair play Lara, family man and humble as they come at only 22 years of age. Eddie sign him up— Charlie Edwards (@CEdwardsBoxing) February 13, 2021
Hard luck tonight @J_Warrington— Barry Awad (@KidGalahad90) February 13, 2021
Wishing you a speedy and full recovery
Warrington is the one fighter that not having a crowd will effect more than most but no excuses on his performance Lara came to win showed power from the start and when you feel that power you box different— Enzo Maccarinelli (@theRealEnzoMac) February 13, 2021
Sad to see that there, gutted for Warrington after giving up his belt he’s had a nightmare, I don’t know what went wrong but he didn’t look right from the start, he needs that rematch with a crowd— Anthony Fowler (@afowler06) February 13, 2021
Devastated honestly for Josh there. Styles make fights, Lara looked seriously heavy handed and how Josh recovered and won rounds after that 4th il never know. Biggest heart in British boxing— Sunny Edwards (@SunnyEdwards) February 13, 2021
He’ll be a world champion again - @J_Warrington
Gutted for Josh...something not right from the beginning, didn’t seem himself tonight. Fair play to Lara for taking his opportunity though. #WarringtonLara— Hannah Rankin (@Team_Rankin) February 13, 2021
Pretty sure I heard the corner say "his eyes look glazed" right in front of Josh and he just sat there and didn't say anything. This was a few rounds before the finish!— Chris Billam-Smith (@ChrisBillam) February 13, 2021
Im gobsmacked by it
Wow— Jordan Gill (@_JordanGill) February 13, 2021
Holy fuck— Marco McCullough (@mccullough_marc) February 13, 2021
Have to love a underdog, 22 year old , game of snakes and ladders— jono carroll (@jono_carroll) February 13, 2021
Warrington looked concussed from very early on in the fight and should be checked thoroughly. Respect to Lara for alerting the medics to check on our man. #fightnight #WarringtonLara @SkySportsBoxing @MatchroomBoxing— Richard Riakporhe (@R_Riakporhe) February 13, 2021