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Leigh Wood vacates featherweight title, moves to 130

Otabek Kholmatov and Raymond Ford will presumably fight for the vacant belt

Boxing In Sheffield - Leigh Wood v Josh Warrington Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Both Leigh Wood and Eddie Hearn agreed that Wood’s dramatic knockout of Josh Warrington would be his last fight at 126 pounds. 10 days later, that’s now official, as Dan Rafael reports that Wood has vacated his WBA title and will now campaign at 130.

Wood (28-3, 17 KO) put together a sterling run at featherweight, first catching fire in a 2021 drubbing of the favored Xu Can. He went on to dramatically stop Michael Conlan in 2022’s Fight of the Year, bounce back from a one-punch knockout loss to Mauricio Lara by outclassing “Bronco” in their rematch, then cap things off with his comeback against Warrington.

Wood has been adamant that he’s only a handful of fights from retirement and, with no mandatory obligations in the way, is now in a position to pick and choose his final opponents. He and Warrington claimed they’re open to a rematch, though Matchroom stablemate and IBF champ Joe Cordina is an interesting option as well.

As for the featherweight belt, mandatory challenger Otabek Kholmatov was guaranteed the next crack at the belt and Raymond Ford sits right behind him. That could be a quality scrap if Ford’s willing to risk it.

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