By Charles Brun: WBA ‘regular’ featherweight champion Leigh Wood and Mauricio Lara won’t be rescheduled. The two were supposed to fight, but Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) suffered a biceps injury, which wiped out the contest.
Instead of Wood facing the dangerous 24-year-old Lara (24-2-1, 17 KOs) and likely losing, he’ll take on WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz. Presumably, Santa Cruz vs. Wood will occur in the United States rather than the UK.
Santa Cruz, 34, will be the A-side in the fight against Wood, so it makes sense that the contest takes place in the U.S. The last thing Santa Cruz needs/wants is to travel to the UK and find himself potentially on the losing end of a controversial decision like in his first fight against Carl Frampton in 2016.
That fight will be just as difficult for Wood as Lara would have been, but the payday will be better. If Wood is going to lose, he might as well get the most money possible against Santa Cruz (38-2-1, 19 KOs).
Santa Cruz had been planning on fighting WBC featherweight champion Rey Vargas in a unification at 126, but that match won’t be taking place, according to @ChavaESPN.
It’s not a huge shock that the 34-year-old Leigh Wood won’t be rescheduling the fight with Mauricio Lara because it would have been a terrible match-up for him. Lara is younger and stronger and would have made it easy to beat Wood.
Unless Wood chose to get out of the fight the way some boxing fans felt Josh Warrington did by head-butting Lara repeatedly, he would have been completely overmatched against the Mexican knockout artist.
Wood had a lot of trouble beating Michael Conlan in his last fight in February. Conlan surprisingly was dominating Wood through the first ten rounds. If not for Conlan gassing out in the championship rounds, he would have beaten Wood in that fight.
Santa Cruz has only fought once in the last two years, beating Keenan Carbajal. He was knocked out in the sixth round by Gevonta ‘Tank’ Davis before that. Assuming Santa Cruz’s chin is still intact after his loss to Tank Davis, he should have no problems beating Wood. That’s a mismatch if Santa Cruz is still firing on all eight cylinders.