Leigh Wood did his job making weight. He then did his job in the ring.
Wood, who lost his 126-pound title to Maurico Lara by knockout in February, turned the tide in the Mexican’s favour, defeating him to win a unanimous decision Saturday night in Manchester, England.
The official scores are 118-109, 118-109 and 116-111. Boxing Junkie also went 118-109, 10 rounds to two.
Wood (27-3, 16 KOs) also boxed well in the first fight against Lara, leading after six rounds on all three scorecards. Then disaster struck: a hard-hitting challenger’s left hook led to a stoppage in the seventh round.
The Nottingham player insisted on an immediate rematch, which proved to be a smart move.
Lara (26-3-1, 19 KOs) dramatized Friday when he failed to gain over 3 pounds and lost the weight belt.
The fact that Wood agreed to go through the fight despite Lara being essentially a junior lightweight was indicative of the confidence with which he would ultimately fight.
Perhaps Lara’s failed efforts to gain weight drained him, which may explain Saturday’s listless performance. Maybe Wood is just a better fighter. Or maybe both factors worked.
Wood gave an outstanding performance, outboxing and outworking the former champion right from the start and never letting go.
The Englishman’s finest moment came in the second round when he knocked Lara down with a right uppercut. The knockdown, however, did not play a significant role in the one-sided scoring.
According to CompuBox, Wood defeated Lara in each of the 12 rounds.
Lara had a few positive moments, hitting clean shots here and there, but was never consistently effective. He was eventually outclassed.