Betting preview: Can Josh Warrington deliver a stunning knockout on his boxing return?

The Leeds Warrior will return to the ring for the first time since 2019 and in doing so, it marks the first of a new three-fight deal with Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.

Finally, it's official.

Josh Warrington will return to the ring against Mauricio Lara but in a non-title fight after vacating his IBF strap in order for bigger fights later this year.

The Leeds Warrior has been out of action since October 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic but promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed he will fight the Mexican opponent next month.

"I feel like I'm getting him back in his absolute prime, 29, No.1 featherweight in the division, fanbase better than ever, fresher than ever as a fighter and I'm excited about what's ahead," Hearn exclusively told Planet Sport Boxing last year.

"Three fights initially [with Warrington]. I expect him to end his career with us, there's a lot more than three fights but I've never been one to do three fights, five-year deals.

"When I've got a relationship with someone like Tony Bellew and Kell Brook, they were fight-by-fight not because you worry about the future but you got that relationship where you trust them.

"I see him as the unified champion and also probably moving up a division - he still makes featherweight well. He's got to fight Kid Galahad as well who's mandatory. I don't think he'd want to avoid him.

"Certainly, the priority is to unify and we've got to manage Kid Galahad who produced a great performance last weekend but I think what he wants to do is to achieve some things that he hasn't. Box in America, unify the division so that's the priority."

When is Warrington vs Lara?

The bout is scheduled to happen on February 13. Warrington was expected to take on Can Xu next in a hotly anticipated unification battle although Golden Boy Promotions has revealed their Chinese fighter would rather wait until April in the hope of being able to have some fans in attendance.

How to watch the fight

Matchroom Boxing has exclusive deals on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK, fans will be able to watch Warrington's world title fight on Sky Sports while across the pond, American fans can get access to the main event on DAZN. The fight will also feature across the DAZN channels in Europe with Spain, Germany and Italy also having rights to stream the bout.

Can Warrington win inside the distance?

If you were to go by his record and had never watched the Yorkshireman fight, then you'd be forgiven if you fancied it to go the full distance.

Seven knockouts from 30 bouts hardly screams out a heavy-hitter but just ask Carl Frampton on whether he has any punching prowess or not. The same Frampton who is seeking to become Ireland's first-ever three-division world champion later this year against Jamal Herring.

Lara's record, meanwhile, has just two defeats from 22 contests with the first defeat on his debut while the second ending with a knockout loss to Eliot Chavez in 2018, who has never fought outside of Mexico and has a record of 8-3-1.

Taking into consideration Warrington's last fight was in 2019 against Frenchman Sofiane Takoucht and lasted just two rounds, Planet Sport is backing the Briton to win between rounds four to six.

The current odds are as follows from Paddy Power and could change at any point. More betting offers for the contest will appear in due course.

html) */?>

Josh Warrington 1/18

Draw 25/1

Mauricio Lara 8/1

Latest Boxing Videos