The WBA title is only on the line for Wood though, after a high weight check earlier in the week led to the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) ruling that it would not be safe for Lara to weigh in on Friday under 128.5lbs, still well over the the 126lbs limit. He weighed in nearly four pounds heavier than Wood, with the sanctioning body confirming that the Mexican has been stripped of his title as a result.
A little over three months is all that has passed since a fateful night in Nottingham, when hometown favourite Wood boxed wonderfully against his ultra-dangerous challenger in front of a raucous crowd and led on all three judges scorecards, before letting his focus slip for a split-second in the seventh round and paying the full price as he was felled by a vicious left hook to the chin.
Trainer Ben Davison threw in the towel to prevent any further punishment, with the hard-hitting and explosive Lara sensing more fireworks as he grabbed the WBA belt at 126lbs to become a world champion for the first time in his career. But it’s proved to be short-lived.
Wood was left to rue his costly error on the night, but quickly set about planning to earn back the title he won with an upset of Xu Can in 2021 and defended successfully in a thrilling win over Michael Conlan, while Lara continued his ugly feud with Josh Warrington after allegedly spitting at his former opponent at ringside.
The stakes are high indeed on a huge night in a lively featherweight division, with Conlan also challenging Luis Alberto Lopez - who squeezed past Warrington on points in December - for his IBF gold in Belfast.
Lara vs Wood 2 date, start time, venue and ring walks
Lara vs Wood 2 takes place at the AO Arena in Manchester on a bumper night of boxing today on Saturday May 27, 2023 - the same night as Lopez vs Conlan and the WBO cruiserweight title clash between Lawrence Okolie and Chris Billam-Smith in Bournemouth.
The main undercard is due to start at 7pm BST, with main event ring walks anticipated at around 10pm as things stand. As ever, those timings are subject to change depending on the length of the earlier bouts.
Lara vs Wood 2 fight card/undercard in full
On Saturday’s undercard, Jack Catterall makes his Matchroom debut, while Terri Harper defends her WBA super-welterweight title a week later than planned. Harper now faces former two-weight world champion Ivana Habazin of Croatia, having seen Cecila Braekhus pull out of their scheduled bout on the Katie Taylor-Chantelle Cameron undercard in Dublin due to illness.
The vacant English welterweight title is up for grabs as Danny Ball meets Jamie Robinson, while Campbell Hatton looks for professional win number 12. William Crolla, the younger brother of former WBA lightweight champion Anthony, also makes his pro debut early on in his hometown.
Mauricio Lara vs Leigh Wood 2
Jack Catterall vs Darragh Foley
Terri Harper vs Ivana Habazin
Danny Ball vs Jamie Robinson
Aaron Bowen vs Aljaz Venko
Campbell Hatton vs Michal Bulik
Aqib Fiaz vs Costin Ion
William Crolla vs Joe Hardy
How to watch Lara vs Wood 2
TV channel: Lara vs Wood 2 is being broadcast live tonight via sport streaming service DAZN, which is now available via Sky channel 429 in the UK.
Live stream: DAZN subscribers can also catch the action online via the website or app. A subscription to DAZN currently starts at £9.99 per month in the UK.
Lara vs Wood 2 prediction
Wood got his gameplan almost spot on for six rounds against Lara back in February, frustrating the heavy-handed Mexican despite a nasty cut sustained early on following a clash of heads.
Though he was hurt a couple of times, he came firing back and put Lara in trouble twice as a superb bout wore on, before leaving his defences crucially open in the seventh as he tried to throw a left hook and got smashed with one from his rival instead.
To ask Wood to fight like that again, but for 12 rounds this time, seems a very tall order, especially considering that weight disadvantage. Lara is such a dangerous and big-hitting opponent anyway and this just adds to his menace, with the Mexican also likely frustrated at the way things have transpired this week.
If it goes to the cards then Wood will win, but in reality we are predicting that things will play out similarly to the first fight, with Lara being frustrated for periods before uncorking his devastating knockout power once again in the middle to late rounds.
Lara to win by knockout.
Lara vs Wood 2 weigh-in results
Wood came in on championship weight, tipping the scales at 125.9lbs on Friday afternoon.
However, the British Boxing Board of Control ruled that Lara could not weigh in at less than 128.5lbs, due to a high weight check earlier in the week. The Mexican officially weighed in at 129.8lbs and was later stripped of the WBA title, which is now vacant and can only be won by Wood on Saturday.
Lara vs Wood 2 betting odds
Lara to win: 4/11
Wood to win: 23/10
Lara to win by KO/TKO: 1/2
Wood to win by KO/TKO: 7/1
Lara to win by points or decision: 9/1
Wood to win by points or decision: 4/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).