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05th Sep 2021

Josh Warrington says he’d “rather have been knocked out” than see fight end in draw

Alex Roberts

The much anticipated rematch ended in a technical draw

Josh Warrington said he would rather have been knocked out than see his rematch with Mauricio Lara be ruled a no contest.

Warrington was keen to avenge his defeat at the hands of the Mexican back in February, 2021 – his only loss to date.

Fighting live on DAZN in front of a packed out Emerald Headingley Stadium in his native Leeds, the 30-year-old was spurred on by a capacity crowd of 20,000 all singing his name.

Hours before the diehard Leeds United fan took to the ring, Headingley was rocking. Cameras were shaking, pints were flowing and ‘Stand Up If You Hate Man U’ could be heard echoing around the ground.

The anticipation was palpable.

Fans in attendance were gifted an appetiser of sorts when Ebanie Bridges, a self-confessed Leeds fan from Sydney, Australia, fought and won on the undercard.

When former featherweight champion Josh Warrington did make his way to the ring around 10:30pm, the noise was deafening as ‘Marching On Together’ bellowed out of both the PA system and the lungs of most of those in attendance.

The fight started with the expected level of intensity, both Warrington and Lara exchanging a series of hard-hitting blows.

But before it could really get started, it was over.

A clash of heads in the second round looked fairly innocuous, but left Mauricio Lara with a deep, open gash above his eye.

The referee only needed a split-second look as both fighters made for their corners before deciding to stop the fight. There were audible gasps from those in attendance when Michael Buffer announced the stoppage. Insults were hurled at Lara’s team from the Leeds fans sat just behind.

Both fighters were frustrated, Warrington in particular.

Speaking to Matchroom Sports after the fight, he said:

“I still… Literally, I can’t think of any words. I would rather have got knocked out.”

The Yorkshireman has sights set on a trilogy fight, though it won’t feel like one.

“I can’t finish my career having that loss and then a technical draw. The third one has to be a Josh Warrington win, hasn’t it?”

A third clash is likely, as Eddie Hearn confirmed post-fight to iFLTV, but Josh Warrington might have to wait a while:

“That cut’s going to take months to heal, we’d like to get Warrington out in the next two months and then that third fight would be early next year.”

Hearn added that he couldn’t believe how it all ended.

“I’ve never had a main even fight end in a technical draw inside four rounds. I’ve sometimes seen that on other shows and thought, ‘It was meh,’ and it was meh.

“Please, another two or three rounds because it was just warming up so good, but we move on. Josh is healthy, Lara is good. Like I said, one of the worst cuts I’ve seen.”