Saturday’s rematch between featherweights Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington is an intriguing one, with Lara looking to repeat on his big upset from earlier this year, while former titleholder Warrington aims for revenge at home in Leeds, England, where he’s built up a great and passionate fan base.
Who wins Saturday’s showdown?
Scott Christ (46-14-3)
I like this rematch as a fan, I’m not sure I’d have advised Josh Warrington to go right back to it if I were his manager or the like. But I’m not, which is great; I mean, I’d probably like the pay that comes with being Josh Warrington’s manager, but other than that, seems like a real hassle.
I don’t count Warrington out here, in particular because I think he’s got the right temperament to bounce back from a tough loss. He’s a gritty, tough fighter. What worries me is he just didn’t take the punches from Lara well the first time around. Even if he executes a better game plan and doesn’t get rocked early, how long until he catches something big from Lara and finds himself in trouble again? Usually, rematches turn out the same as the first time around, at least in terms of who wins and loses. I’ve got to go with Lara. I expect a spirited fight from Warrington at home in Leeds, but now that I’ve seen them battle once, I think Lara may just be all wrong for the former titlist. Lara TKO-10
How to Watch Lara vs Warrington 2
Wil Esco (48-12-3)
I don’t want to discredit Mauricio Lara’s win over Josh Warrington earlier this year, Lara proved his mettle and was able to land enough power to do real damage to Warrington. Warrington readily admits the hell he went through following that stoppage loss in terms of physical damage and his mental state, but seems to have worked himself back into the right state of mind for this upcoming rematch.
The biggest difference in this rematch is that Warrington doesn’t really make any excuses for his performance and takes full ownership for just fighting a fight that didn’t suit him. If he has truly learned from those mistakes and will fight a more disciplined fight this time around, I think Warrington does enough to take the fight on the cards. I’m going to take Warrington to avenge his last loss on points. Warrington UD-12
Patrick L. Stumberg (49-11-3)
For me, the key question here is how much of Warrington’s planning in the first fight was of his own volition and how much was part of an instinctual, concussed haze. There were early moments where he was flat-out outclassing Lara, landing two or three razor-sharp punches between each of the Mexican youngster’s big swings. Sure, he lingered in the pocket a bit too much, but he was still doing excellent work. Then Lara clipped him and it was all downhill from there; a collapsing Warrington threw back instead of tying up or taking a knee, and even when he kind of got his feet back underneath him, he was fundamentally unable to avoid Lara’s left hook.
Part of me wants to give Warrington the benefit of the doubt and declare that he’ll come in with a more conservative gameplan, work behind his jab, and exploit Lara’s myriad technical shortcomings instead of trying to mix it up. Another, louder part insists that Warrington’s just not wired for that; he’s fundamentally a high-volume aggressor, making a durable catch-and-pitch puncher like Lara his natural enemy. While I’d love to see Warrington get back on track after all of his misfortune, I say a confident Lara gets him out of there more quickly this time. Lara TKO-6