Underdog Leigh Wood wanted his WBA featherweight title back.
To get it, he would have to defeat the man who crushed him three months ago. He would have to overcome his doubts – and stay out of danger for 36 minutes.
Wood fought a disciplined and tactical fight. He knocked down Lara in the second round – winning the fight going to the scorecards.
The scores were 118-109 twice, 116-111 all three for Wood.
“What a feeling,” said Wood. “I didn’t lose tonight.”
In the first round, Wood jabbed a body. Lara withdrew. He landed a left hook. The wood absorbed it. He stabbed a little more. Dangerous Lara patiently waited for the opening. Wood connected to the right one at the bell. Lara landed the first punch in round two.
Despite using a side move, Wood couldn’t avoid hitting another left hook. Seconds later, Wood landed a uppercut, sending Lara to the canvas. Lara got up quickly. He was fine and showed it by hitting wide hooks that Wood avoided.
In the third round, Wood hit Lara with a right, but Lara’s head shook Wood. Seconds later, Wood landed again. Lara approached the body. The combination woke him up. Wood continued to stab him in the stomach. Lara returned the favor, landing with a thumping blow right in the ribs. Lara followed Wood in the fourth round. Wood jabbed and dodged big sweeping left hooks. Both fighters landed. Lara was digging downstairs. He really sits on his punches. Wood landed short to the right.
In the fifth round, Wood continued to box with a gash above his left eye caused by the stock. He landed straight twice as Lara prepared to jump. Wood used his legs to avoid danger. And he stabbed. Lara fired several left hooks. The pair landed but did no damage.
Wood’s jab scored in round six. Lara landed in the heart, but Wood used his legs to avoid danger. Lara rushed inside. Wood hit him again.
The first fight ended in round seven when Lara landed a powerful left hook. Lara tried to do it again, but Wood didn’t feel like it. His left worked. Lara ate the upper cut and missed the right. Wood landed two right and top. At the end of the verse, he raised his hand.
Wood got off first in the eighth round. Lara has waited too long. He had to speed up. The wood slid into the inner right. Lara fired, but Wood’s footwork kept him out of reach. Wood was winning the rounds. In the ninth round, Wood made a feint. Lara looked like she was walking in circles. Not good. Lara connected to the right. Wood has exposed the left side time and time again. Wood shook him with his right hand. Lara missed her a lot.
In round 10, Wood landed a right. The left Lara landed on Wood’s right glove. Lara lurched forward awkwardly. Wood beat him to get another round.
With two rounds left, Wood’s lead on the judges’ scorecards was likely significant.
Wood moved, jabbed and circled 11. It turned out that Lara had no second wind. His pace was the same. Wood was a sharper and fresher fighter. He moved away as Lara was loading.
Wood jabbed (obviously) in the 12thp and the final round. Lara landed to the left. Wood did what he had been doing the entire fight. He kept most of the action in the middle of the ring – connecting right to the mustache. He staggered Lara with his own left hook. Lara fired the shots. Nothing landed.