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Mauricio Lara misses weight, stripped of WBA featherweight title ahead of Saturday’s bout

We discuss Mauricio Lara missing weight ahead of his WBA featherweight title defense against Leigh Wood on Saturday.

Mauricio Lara (left) and Leigh Wood during a weigh-in at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Manchester. Picture date: Friday May 26, 2023. Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

WBA featherweight champion Mauricio Lara has been stripped of the belt ahead of his scheduled title defense on Saturday, May 27, against Leigh Wood. The weight limit for featherweights is 126 pounds. In an effort to crack down on unhealthy methods of cutting weight, the boxing commission forbade him from weighing in over 128.5 pounds at the weigh-in on Friday. Lara got off the scales at 129.8 pounds, 1.3 pounds over the restriction set by the commission and nearly four over the class’ weight limit.

So what happens now? Well, for starters, the champ was stripped of his title. Lara was unable to register a title defense as he only won it back in February against Wood by a seventh-round corner stoppage. It is up to Wood’s camp if they want to proceed with the fight. If they choose to continue, Wood will likely take home more of the purse, regardless of the fight's outcome.

Regarding the featherweight title, if Lara wins the match on Saturday, he cannot regain his championship. A victory would likely help him stay as the No. 1 contender, and his next match would be for the vacant belt. For Wood, however, because he made weight, if he earns a win on Saturday, he will be the new WBA featherweight champ.