Josh Warrington challenges Mauricio Lara to trilogy fight as Leeds boxer says rivalry now personal after spit

Leeds fighter Josh Warrington hopes his next bout will be a third instalment of the heated rivalry with WBA world featherweight champion Mauricio Lara
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The Mexican is alleged to have spat at Warrington following his victory in Nottingham over Leigh Wood last month whilst the Leeds boxer worked ringside as a pundit. Warrington, 32, described the act as ‘disgusting and degrading’ and has exclusively told the YEP he now considers their rivalry personal.

"There seems to be personal animosity between us now,” Warrington said. “I knew he'd been stringing it along for some time, since the second fight, that it's personal between me and him and it never has been for me, it's been healthy competition even though there's pushing and shoving at weigh-ins, it's never been personal.

"But now it is for me,” the two-time world champion added.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington react to a technical draw after the Featherweight fight between Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington at Emerald Headingley Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)LEEDS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington react to a technical draw after the Featherweight fight between Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington at Emerald Headingley Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington react to a technical draw after the Featherweight fight between Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington at Emerald Headingley Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
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Warrington is eager to get in the ring with 25-year-old Lara for a third time after the pair’s latest altercation. Lara defeated the Leeds fighter in 2021 before a technical draw was called in the duo’s rematch at Headingley Stadium in September of the same year.

Following Lara’s title win against Wood, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn stated a Warrington trilogy fight is very much on the cards, if Wood is unable to exercise his rematch clause due to injuries sustained last month.

Meanwhile, Warrington remains outraged at Lara’s actions following February’s bout in Nottingham: “The way he conducted himself a few weeks back. I was sat as a guest, working punditry on DAZN but I was at the side of the ring, so for him to behave like that, spitting is one of the most degrading acts you can do to somebody.

"I'd rather have been punched, honestly,” Warrington added. “It's disgusting as well. Look, if he'd done that a few years ago with the COVID situation, do you know what I mean? If I'd done it, what would have been my consequences?

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"Listen, he's been saying for a while he wants to retire me. Here I am. I'm there, let's get it on.”

Warrington’s team are at an advanced stage of discussions regarding a prospective trilogy fight and the 32-year-old hopes to bring Lara back to the United Kingdom for their second title bout after the second round stoppage at Headingley 18 months ago.