The bucking bronco that is Mauricio Lara is back on track to make a swift return to the squared circle. 

Lara landed a devastating left hook to the chin of Leigh Wood and scored a seventh-round technical knockout win against the Brit on Feb. 18 in Nottingham.

The 25-year-old rugged Mexican fighter Lara (26-2-1, 19 KOs) captured the WBA featherweight crown with the win. 

The bout headlined a Matchroom Boxing billing, and if you ask the company’s promotional head Eddie Hearn, he wants to make sure Lara’s next fight is either against Wood (26-3, 16 KOs) or another familiar face in former two-time foe Josh Warrington (31-2-1, 8 KOs). 

“You're looking at Wood-Lara [on May 27] or looking at Lara against Warrington. Obviously, he's got the rematch, Leigh Wood, and it looks like he's going to exercise that,” Hearn told Boxing Social. 

It would appear the 34-year-old Wood would want to face Lara in an immediate rematch. Wood was up on all three scorecards before absorbing the last punch of the fight, which forced coach Ben Davison to throw in the towel. 

Lara recently confirmed he was ready for a sequel against Wood

“I think that Wood gave me an opportunity without being mandatory, and as a [former] champion, he deserves a rematch,” said Lara. “But whatever comes, I will take it.” 

If Wood were to punt on the opportunity, Lara’s archrival Warrington would be waiting. 

The former IBF featherweight titlist Warrington was ringside for the Lara-Wood fight and was the recipient of Lara’s anger when his archrival walked toward Warrington and spat on him immediately after knocking out Wood.

Lara scored a ninth-round TKO win against Warrington in Feb. 2021 and the two met again in Sept. 2021, but the bout was ruled a technical draw after Lara suffered a cut to his left eye in the second round due to an accidental head clash.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at], or via