By Barry Holbrook: Leigh Wood has reportedly confirmed that his fight with former WBA featherweight champion Mauricio Lara will proceed for Saturday night.
However, it’s still not a certainty the fight will take place tomorrow night. Wood’s trainer Ben Davison repeatedly pointed out that “terms are met” tomorrow for the safety of Leigh for the contest to take place.
Although Davison didn’t say the terms, he repeatedly mentioned the word “safety,” which can only mean one thing—a rehydration limit. We could see a weight check for Mauricio Lara on Saturday, like the one we recently saw for Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis. Ryan had to withhold fluids and food to make the rehydration clause.
Depending on how late on Saturday the weight check is for Lara, he could be a drained zombie when he enters the ring with the 34-year-old Wood, perhaps the only chance he has of beating the younger, stronger, faster fighter.
Possible rehydration limit Lara
Davison didn’t say the terms, but there may be a secondary weigh-in on Saturday morning with a maximum weight limit that Lara can come in at.
In this case, Lara must withhold fluids and food overnight to ensure he doesn’t exceed the weight. Depending on how late the weight check is on Saturday, Lara could be sufficiently drained by the time of the fight for Wood to win.
Earlier this week, on Wednesday, the British Boxing Board of Control wasn’t happy with the check weight for Lara. They then said he couldn’t come in less than 128.5 lbs at the weigh-in.
What this means is Lara effectively lost his title last Wednesday rather than today, which is crazy, but he’s fighting in the UK with different rules. If this fight were in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world, Lara likely would have been allowed to make weight.
We’ve had confirmation from @itsLeighWood that tomorrow’s fight will go ahead.
World title still on the line for Wood, but not for Lara. https://t.co/4JjZ6DTKK4
— BBC Nottingham Sport (@BBCRNS) May 26, 2023
Ben Davison talks about Lara’s weight
“By the time we knew what Lara was going to come in, Leigh had already made championship weight,” said Ben Davison to iFL TV. “So obviously, we’re not happy with the situation with that happening.
“We’ve spoken to the team, and the team has spoken, and they’ve spoken to Matchroom. I can’t go into too much detail, but terms have been put in place to ensure that we are happy and the health and safety considerations of our fighter.
“We’ve come to an agreement that we are happy with. I think this story that the Board didn’t allow Lara to make weight is a false narrative because we’re nowhere near the weight that the board allows him to make.
“The fact that he’s [Lara] boiled himself down and could only get down to that [129 3/4 lbs]. You can look at him weighing in heavy as an advantage, or he boiled himself down to that, and he could only get down to that. That’s how f**ked he is. That’s a disadvantage as well.
“For us, there are terms that must be met for us to be happy, and those terms have been agreed for us to ensure, like I say, the safety of Leigh Wood.
“The fact that he got nowhere near the weight the Board set up for him to be allowed to weigh suggests that he would have gotten nowhere near the championship weight anyway. Like I said, these terms have to be met. If these terms are not met, like I said, the health & safety and a fair crack at the whip is most important above all else.
“At the moment, these terms are met, and if they remain that way, the fight will take place. It’s a difficult situation to try and talk a fighter out of a fight. It can be very difficult conversation to try and have.
“Like I said, it’s very important that these terms are met. There are a lot of things in place to ensure that we’re happy for the fight to go ahead,” said Davison.