Josh Warrington plays down 'most dangerous' Mauricio Lara tag

Josh Warrington has no fear of a third clash with Mauricio Lara as he prepares for his IBF world featherweight title fight with Kiko Martinez later this month.

Josh Warrington has played down Mauricio Lara's latest win and says he will beat the Mexican "easy" if the pair meet for a third time.

Lara, 24, brutally knocked out Emiliano Sanchez last weekend at the end of round three in San Diego. It was an all-out war from the bell as both fighters let their hands go.

Lara though was the victor after knocking his opponent down in the first round. 'Bronco' then went for the big finish with a series of haymakers which missed the target.

His pressure continued in round two and he battered the American, who had been beaten just once previously.

Sanchez did manage to back up Lara in round three and the latter looked gassed. But he recovered quickly and produced a brilliant finish to knock out Sanchez with a stunning left hook.

The victory took the impressive Lara to a record of (24-2-1, 17KOs). And the dangerous featherweight has set his sights on another fight with Warrington and claimed "it's personal".

Lara beat Warrington in February 2021 in a stunning victory at Wembley Arena. But the re-match in September was deemed a technical draw after Lara suffered a deep cut to his left eye after a clash of heads in round two.

A third clash between the pair is a possibility with Lara far from happy that Warrington is getting a shot at the IBF world title before himself.

Warrington believes he can defeat Lara and says the Mexican is not of the same calibre of some of the fighters he has already beaten.

"It's still open with how the fight finished last time. Everyone's been getting excited about him because of his win at the weekend but he's not a Lee Selby, a Carl Frampton or a Kiko Martinez (fighters Warrington has beaten).

"He beat me, yes, and I might sound contradictory, but me switched on and I beat him easy," Warrington said at a media day with Planet Sport present.

"He's making a bit of smoke, he's getting a bit of excitement and he can dig. You can be a big, big hitter but it doesn't always guarantee you world titles."

Hearn: Lara is dangerous

The prospect of a third bout with Lara is not one that Warrington's promoter Eddie Hearn will be in a rush to fix up.

Hearn believes Lara is "the most dangerous featherweight in the world".

Hearn told iFLTV: "Mauricio Lara is a bad mother ******. I can't believe that we took that fight for Josh Warrington. I said names to Steve Wood, and it all worked out in the end.

"Everyone said he was perfect for Josh. But Mauricio Lara is the most dangerous featherweight in the world. Is he the best? I don't know, but he's the most dangerous."

Before Warrington can focus on Lara though, the Leeds star has to take care of Kiko Martinez in his hometown later this month.

Warrington said: "He's always dangerous. I've got to be massively switched on because what he did against Galahad goes to show that if I'm not switched on, it's good night Vienna.

"Timing, speed and reactions die off but punch power doesn't. That was testament to it right there.

"I've learned that in the last 18 months more than anyone. Look at the first Lara fight, being too cocky, overlooking an opponent, thinking something was a given and ended up getting stopped in nine rounds.

"I don't want that to happen again and it won't be happening this time."

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