Mauricio Lara has vowed to take his frustrations out on Jose Sanmartin and send a warning to the World Featherweight champions when they clash at the Plaza de Toros Arroyo in Mexico City on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN.
Lara (24-2-1 17 KOs) had been set to challenge WBA ruler Leigh Wood in Nottingham, England in September but the bout was nixed after the champion suffered a bicep injury in training. The Mexican now looks to keep himself in the picture to face one of the 125lb belt holders at the start of 2023 by putting on a dominant display against Sanmartin (33-5-1 21 KOs).
‘Bronco’ announced his intentions at the top level with his brutal stoppage win over Josh Warrington in London in February 2021, but a hotly anticipated rematch in the Leeds’ man’s backyard seven months later ended in disappointment as a cut over Lara’s left eye ended the bout after two rounds.
The 24 year old pummeled Emilio Sanchez inside three rounds in March in San Diego to return to action with a bang, and Lara is excited to fight on home turf for the first time in almost two years as he aims to show the champions that there is nowhere to hide from him.
“I want to be a World champion,” said Lara. “I will do it. I will face any champion that gives me the opportunity.
“We know that Jose is a good fighter. He’s strong. He’s coming off a seven-fight win streak. Well, he had a win streak because unfortunately he has a fight against me. Everyone knows the kind of status I have now. I’m a train without brakes and no one will stop me. I feel very prepared both mentally and physically.
“You will see a different Bronco Lara. You will still see his bravery. You will still see his power. I will work little by little in this fight, but I don’t think it goes past the sixth round.
“It fills me with a lot of emotion to fight here. Also, there are a lot of mixed feeling in my return to my city as well. I plan to deliver a great show in Mexico City, a place that has needed a show like this for quite some time.
“It means a lot to me to be able to broadcast the sport of boxing to a lot of people. That motivates me. It excites me to know that people follow me, too. I’m just trying to contribute my grain of sand for the next generation so that they can have better opportunities than I did.
“I had mixed feelings with the Wood fight being cancelled. I was sad, of course. But there are still a lot of things to do. I spoke with my representative, Alex, and he said that good things are coming. I believe that Wood is honest and that he was hurt. I hope we meet in the future.
“Now we know that there are two Englishman who have run away from a Mexican. We’ll have to meet at some point. When that happens, I will destroy him. It will be the worst decision he’ll ever have made.
“Those fights with Warrington changed my life a lot. It positioned me as one of the top prospects in Mexico City and in all of Mexico. I’m very happy that I took advantage of all the opportunities that were given to me. And, in terms of boxing skills, ‘Bronco’ Lara grew a lot.
“After the last fight with Josh, I was very frustrated. As I’ve mentioned, it’s a topic that’s become very personal for me. And we know that if he fights against me again, he will have to retire from boxing. As I’ve promised to do, so it will be. Believe me; it’s something that’s very personal.”
Lara and Sanmartin tops a bill in Mexico City with two title fights on deck, as Angel Fierro faces Jeremy Cuevas for the WBO NABO Lightweight title and Reshat Mati fights for his first title as a pro and must see off Mexican opposition in Eduardo Leonel Rodriguez to claim the WBC Silver Youth Super-Lightweight belt.