Josh Warrington vs Kiko Martinez 2: Leeds Warrior admits he overlooked Mauricio Lara

  • Tom Ward

Josh Warrington has insisted he will not make the same mistakes against Kiko Martinez he made during his shock defeat to Mauricio Lara.

The Leeds star, 31, admitted he underestimated the dangerous Mexican, 24, before he was beaten in February of last year.

Warrington will challenge for the IBF featherweight title in a rematch against the in-form Martinez at the First Direct Arena in London on March 26.

He won their first fight via majority decision at the same venue almost five years ago.

But as he aims to win back his old belt for the second time, he has let slip he may have overlooked Lara the first time around with his mind already on other things.

Warrington told The Yorkshire Post: “I always thought I would never take anyone for granted but I certainly did the first night I boxed Mauricio Lara.

“I don’t think I will ever make that mistake again, from now until the time I call it a day on my career.

“If you are not going into the ring switched on, you are going to get hurt. That is one thing I have learnt in the last 12 months. As I have got older, I have learnt to listen to my body and the importance of recovery.

Boxing – Kiko Martinez & Josh Warrington Press Conference – The Banking Hall, Leeds, Britain – January 28, 2022 Josh Warrington shakes hands with Kiko Martinez as promoter Eddie Hearn looks on during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

“I have always wanted to train until the wheels fall off but I have learnt the importance of resting and trying to switch off.”

Warrington also revealed how he has been inspired by Leigh Wood after watching his rival come from behind to beat Michael Conlan last month.

He added: “Only a few years ago, Leigh Wood looked like he was done but he got that shot against Can Xu and has now been involved in one of the contenders for the fight of the year.

“It is still wide open and it is all to play for. Anything can happen.

“It is exciting to be part of this little era. I felt like I had a bit of bad luck not being able to get the Shakur Stevenson fight after beating Carl Frampton and Kid Galahad.

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“Oscar Valdez moved up and I couldn’t face Leo Santa Cruz or Gary Russell Junior either. I think the division has revamped itself.

“I think the division always does as there are a lot of small guys who are coming through from the amateurs or guys from super bantamweight wanting to be multi-weight world champions.

“It is very exciting. You have got Mark Magsayo who beat Gary Russell in the states, you still have Navarette and Wood. Conlan is still very much relevant.

“Mauricio Lara is still on the rise as well; it is very tasty.”

READ MORE: Richard Riakporhe heaps praise upon Anthony Joshua ahead of London derby with Deion Jumah

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