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Warrington vs Lara: Josh Warrington sets sights on Gary Russell Jr, Xu Can after Saturday return

Warrington is back in the ring Feb. 13 after not fighting since Oct. 2019.

Josh Warrington Press Conference - Emerald Headingley Stadium Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

With former featherweight titlist Josh Warrington set to return this Saturday, Feb. 13 on DAZN (2 pm ET) against Mauricio Lara, the still-unbeaten fighter from Leeds, England, has his sights set on bigger bouts going forward.

That’s not to say that Warrington (30-0, 7 KO) will overlook Lara (21-2, 14 KO), at least not in the sense that he’ll come to the ring indifferent or unprepared, but he is a massive favorite here, and there isn’t expected to be a whole lot of resistance.

Warrington recently vacated the IBF title when he couldn’t get a unification fight with WBA “world” titleholder Xu Can done, but has Xu and others — including WBC titlist Gary Russell Jr — in his sights for bigger fights this year.

How to Watch Warrington vs Lara

Date: Saturday, Feb. 13 | Start Time: 2:00 pm ET
Location: The SSE Arena, Wembley - London, England
TV: Sky Sports (UK) | Streaming: DAZN
Online Coverage:

Warrington sees Russell (31-1, 18 KO) as “there for the taking,” he told Sky Sports:

“Sometimes fighters just get a gut feeling and sometimes you’ve got to run with that gut feeling. Just like with the [Lee] Selby fight, I have seen many things that I thought that we could expose, and I see it with Gary Russell Jr. He’s a great fighter. He’s got a lot of speed, but he’s there for taking. He is there for the taking and he has got a green and gold belt, man, the WBC belt, so I love that fight as a massive scalp.”

Warrington, 30, also still wants to fight Xu Can — who is ridiculously not the top recognized WBA titlist, as that sanctioning body is leaving a light on for Leo Santa Cruz, who hasn’t fought at featherweight in two years and made a full move to 130 — and will surely have ideas about WBO titleholder Emanuel Navarrete, who is set to return April 24 against Christopher Diaz.

But for now, Warrington hasn’t actually fought since an Oct. 2019 wipeout win over Sofiane Takoucht, and Saturday will be all about getting active, shaking the rust, and so on — or at least he hopes. It can be said that Lara, 22, has won 10 straight since his last loss in 2018, and while the level of opposition has been pretty poor, hey, he’s got nothing to lose.

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