Josh Warrington in denial of loss to Mauricio Lara

By Scott Gilfoid: Josh Warrington was in damage control mode this week, attributing his ninth-round knockout loss to Mauricio Lara last year by handing him a title fight against then-WBA featherweight champion Can Xu.

The way Warrington (30-1-1, 7 KOs) is minimize its loss in Lara, he seems to feel like he has closed the chapter on this sad event in his career after his rematch last September.

For those who are foggy on the details of this fight, Warrington was like a goat released inside the ring. Warrington needed a set of horns, and he would have been a carbon copy of a little goat up at night.

Poor Lara never stood a chance, getting rammed repeatedly by Warrington until a massive cut opened up over the Mexican slugger’s right eye, causing the fight to be stopped after two rounds.

The right was ruled a two-round technical draw despite Lara working Warrington in both rounds. The fight took place in Leeds. As far as Gilfoid can tell, Warrington came close to winning neither round before the fight was called off due to the cut.

This Saturday night, March 26, Warrington will fight for a world title against IBF featherweight champion Kiko Martinez (43-10-2, 30 KOs) on DAZN at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, UK.

This is a rematch for these two fighters, as Warrington beat Kiko by a questionable 12-round majority decision in 2017 at Leeds.

“Kiko shows up, he throws a lot of punches, he exerts immense pressure and he’s a mean puncher,” Josh Warrington told iFL TV. I grew up and am five years older.

Warrington promoter Eddie Hearn is already planning his next fight against WBA “regular” featherweight champion Leigh Wood if he takes the win on Saturday night against Kiko. No mention was made about Mauricio Lara who is the one who should fight for a world title.

“There was a time when I wanted to throw sevens and eights in terms of non-stop combinations,” Warrington continued. “These days I’m a bit more reserved and focused on my shots.

“I think I’m a bit wiser in what I’m going to do on Saturday. I was shocked because I didn’t expect him to get caught in shots like that,” Warrington said of Martinez stopping Kid Galahad in his last fight.

“Fair play for him. It shows that anything can happen in this sport. I think in construction, Kid was talking a lot about [Emmanuel] Navarrete and unifications. He took some percentages off and paid the price.

“100%, I made that mistake against Mauricio Lara,“, Warrington said. “The first time, I was laughing and joking about what I was going to do in my next camp as I prepared for [former WBA ‘regular’ featherweight champion] Can Xu, and of course, I went back to my dressing room and straight to the hospital.

“I think it’s different from the other because Can Xu was a fight that was set up and the posters had been done. I was ready to rock & roll for the next one to get back to London, hit the gym and go again.

“There are a lot of things that can become a distraction, but I’m not going to let it become a distraction this time. I’m fully focused on Saturday night,” Warrington said, downplaying his loss to Lara by blaming her for not being focused.