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Expect a third fight between Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington.
The featherweight contenders were engaged in a spirited rematch when a clash of heads in Round 2 caused a deep cut above Lara’s left eye, which ended the fight after the round Saturday in Leeds, England.
Because the fight didn’t go four rounds, it was declared a technical draw.
The premature ending was bitterly disappointing for the fighters and the fans in attendance in Warrington’s hometown, who were hoping he’d avenge Lara’s knockout victory in the first fight.
Warrington (30-1-1, 7 KOs) fought in a defensive posture from the opening bell, obviously trying to limit his power-punching opponent’s ability to land big shots.
At the same time, Warrington wasn’t afraid to throw hard punches himself, many of which landed.
True to form, Lara (23-2-1, 16 KOs) fought aggressively in an attempt to land blows that would allow him to repeat his performance of their first fight in February. And he landed some eye-catching shots, including a number to the body.
The intensity five minutes into the fight was palpable, particularly with the large crowd at Headingly Stadium.
Then, with about 30 seconds remaining, the fighters’ heads collided. Referee Steve Gray stopped the fight momentarily and then allowed it allowed to continue.
However, between Rounds 2 and 3, the ring doctor decided the cut was too severe and ordered the fight stopped.
Warrington, on a mission to right what he felt was a wrong, was devastated afterward.
“I’m absolutely gutted, absolutely gutted,” he said. “… These things happen.”
Eddie Hearn, who promotes Warrington, said that he expects a third bout between his fighter and Lara will take place but not until next year.
He said Warrington, whose training camp was largely wasted, could fight someone else in the meantime.
Warrington definitely wants one more crack at Lara, though.
“I keep saying it,” he said, “I need to get the slate cleaned.”