British boxing has endured a delayed start to the year, but it roars back into action on Saturday when Josh Warrington takes on Mauricio Lara.
Warrington is unbeaten in a 30-fight professional career, but the IBF world featherweight title that the Leeds Warrior won when defeating Lee Selby in 2018, won’t be on the line at Wembley Arena.
Warrington Plotting Path to World Title
The Leeds fighter has decided to vacate that belt after he was ordered to defend it for a second time against fellow Brit Kid Galahad.
Warrington is chasing a world-title bout against China’s WBA holder Xu Can and slipping out of Galahad’s way was seen as the best option open to the Yorkshireman.
There is not really any interest in the match betting markets with Warrington rightly rated the
1/22 favourite. Therefore, those looking to have a wager on this fight may have to be slightly more creative with their selections.
Warrior Can Put on a Show
Only seven of Warrington’s 30 professional wins have come via stoppage. However, the Leeds Warrior was able to dispatch Sofiane Takoucht in just two rounds last time out.
Takoucht was outclassed in that contest and it looks likely that Lara will be in the same boat. Bronco has been stopped just once in a 23-fight career and that gives the impression of a tough fighter.
However, Lara has only once fought outside of his native Mexico, and that was in Argentina, and he has been in against pretty low-level opposition.
There’s no doubt Warrington will want to put on a show after his break and as he chases future world-title fights and this contest may not go over the 6.5 round line that has been set, with under 6.5
Smith and Vlasov Battle for WBO belt
Joe Smith Jr tackles Maksim Vlasov for the vacant WBO world lightweight title in Las Vegas and it’s an interesting clash. In truth, this fight is probably slightly below elite level, but nevertheless, it’s an opportunity for someone to be crowned world champion.
Smith ended Bernard Hopkins’ career back in 2016, but the Long Island puncher has since gone on to be beaten by Sullivan Barrera and Dmitry Bivol.
Vlasov managed a win over an ageing Isaac Chilemba a couple of fights ago, avenging the points defeat he suffered at the hands of Golden Boy in 2011.
The Russian has also been beaten by Krzysztof Glowacki, who then went on to lose to Mairis Briedis and top-class super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez.
Drop in Division Could Hurt Vlasov
Much of Vlasov’s best form has come at cruiserweight, raising a question over his ability when dropping a division.
The Russian could bring his power down and that would certainly give him an edge, but he could also be weight drained and lack the mobility to get out of the way of the big-punching Smith.
Smith was fairly impressive against Eleider Alvarez and he looks short enough to take the belt at
However, the American carries plenty of power and with 21 of his 26 wins coming via stoppage. Backing this fight to end before the final bell at
10/11 looks the way to go.
*All odds correct at time of writing.