Josh Warrington has told talkSPORT that Mauricio Lara is ‘in the way’ of the big fights he craves.
Leeds’ former IBF featherweight champion vacated his belt last month after the organisation enforced his mandatory defence against Kid Galahad.
The 30-year-old no longer has his title, but must still defend his unbeaten recordMark Robinson/Matchroom
Warrington defeated his Sheffield rival in a close, controversial fight back in June 2019, with Galahad since fighting to regain the mandatory position.
The IBF had granted him an exception for a bout with WBA ‘regular’ belt-holder Can Xu on February 13.
However, this fell apart at the last minute and he announced a fight with little-known Mauricio Lara and vacated the belt.
Regarding the overlooked opponent, Warrington told White and Jordan on talkSPORT: “He’s taken a massive opportunity.
Lara has a record of 21-2 and is a sizeable underdogMark Robinson/Matchroom
“This guy can go out there and change his life completely. There’s no pressure on his shoulders.
“He’s not meant to win, but he could really shock the world here.
“So he’s stepped up to the plate, full credit to him, full respect to him, but he’s in the way.
“He’s in the way and I’ve got goals to be in a lot bigger fights and the only way I can keep those dreams alive is by beating this guy in front of me on Saturday.”
Warrington has re-signed with Eddie HearnGetty Images – Getty
Should he come though against Lara as expected, the hope is that Warrington will be able to make a quick return on April 24 with the Xu fight rescheduled for this date.
Although he no longer has his belt, the 30-year-old is aware of the value of his number one status in the division and his unbeaten record.
Warrington added: “It means there’s just more at stake. Going forwards, the value’s up a little bit more.
“The unbeaten record, it’s always a question of, ‘Who’s gonna beat Josh Warrington? Let’s try and get the biggest name that we can to try and beat him.’
Warrington is adamant a big fight must come nextMark Robinson/Matchroom
“And obviously for the opponents as well, boxers like the challenge.
“Boxers like to upset records and create history themselves so there’ll be fighters out there chomping at the bit, ‘I think I can take Josh Warrington’s 0.’
“It’s a marker on your head, but I don’t mind that whatsoever.”
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