The Leeds Warrior must avenge his brutal loss to Lara six months ago if he is to rekindle world title aspirations
Conor Benn has been one of the most British boxing’s most improved fighters over the past two years, stepping out of his father’s shadow supremely well with a string of impressive wins.
The 24-year-old has won three of his last four bouts by KO, to extend his record to 18-0 heading into tonight’s test against the battle-hardened Adrian Granados.
The Mexican’s record of 21-8-3 is far from stellar, but the reality of those defeats tells a more representative story of the 32-year-old’s prowess in the ring. Two of those defeats were against Adrian Broner and Shawn Porter, with the Broner loss decided by mere split decision. Na verdade, Granados has only ever been knocked out by Danny Garcia, another world class welterweight fighter, and former belt holder.
Tonight’s fight represents stern test for Benn who is just arriving at the fringe of world level. How he deals with a wily operator like Granados will tell us a great deal more about his readiness to face some of the world’s best at welterweight – one of boxing’s most stacked divisions.
Benn should prevail against the slightly weathered Granados – but this this card’s main event is a timely reminder of the threat that underdogs can pose to some of British boxing’s biggest stars.
Follow live updates below, plus undercard results with a series of mouthwatering fights to build up to the main event:
Lara vs Warrington 2: Main undercard set to start
The main card is about to start, a reminder of the run-down of this undercard:
- Mauricio Lara v Josh Warrington
- Katie Taylor v Jennifer Han
- Conor Benn v Adrian Granados
- Jovanni Straffon v Maxi Hughes
- Ebanie Bridges v Mailys Gangloff
Price wins via second round KO
What a performance by Price!
He unleashes a barrage of punches in the second and Hussain is stopped on his feet.
It’s a real statement from the 21-year-old, who now moves to 6-0. Impressive stuff.
Hopey Price v Zahid Hussain
Hussain goes down!
Right on the bell to signal the end of the first round, Price catches Hussain clean on the chin with a right hook.
Hussain recovers well to see out the first, but for how long?
Hopey Price v Zahid Hussain
Both fighters are now in the ring.
Price has only ever been six rounds, so the added experience of Hussain (who has 16 wins to his name) could provide a good test for the youngster.
Here we go…
Bateson beats Garcia via UD
The British fighter recovers well from being knocked down in the second to beat Garcia 58-56 via the judge’s scorecard.
It was a tougher fight than anticipated, but Bateson gets the job done in his home city.
Próximo, it’s exciting Matchroom prospect Hopey Price v Zahid Hussain.
Warrington v Lara undercard – as it happens
The first bouts of the evening have now been completed. Earlier, we saw young prospects Mali Wright and Brandon Stanfield win in their respective matchups.
Leeds-born Jack Batseon is currently in the ring with Nicaragua’s Felix Garica. He’s been on the canvas, but should be fairly comfortably ahead on the judge’s scorecards.
Katie Taylor on fighting in front of a crowd again
“This has been a long time coming, I haven’t fought in front of a crowd in a long time. It is going to be electric. I have a soft heart towards Leeds, so it is going to be really amazing to fight here.
“I have great memories growing up and coming here as a kid and going to Elland Road to watch Leeds United. They are some of my best memories as a kid. To have the chance to actually fight here is really special.”
Conor Benn: I let my fists do the talking
“I don’t have a message for Granados. I don’t. There is nothing to say. I let my fists do the talking. Everything that has been said from both parties has been said now. At the end of the day the promo is done. All that’s left to do now is fight, and come September 4 he is in for one hell of a fight. I know he’s going to bring it – but that gets me going. Let’s have it!
“He’s a tough durable guy, the only person to stop him is Danny Garcia. He won the fight against Adrian Broner. He gave hell to Shawn Porter. He fought Robert Easter Jr. He’s been in with the top boys, but he’s in with another top boy. I just want to fight now. I just want to get in there now.”
Lara: My win over Warrington wasn’t lucky
“Warrington said that I got lucky. Believe me. There’s no luck in boxing. I’ve never won anything with luck. I won with hard work and a lot of discipline,” the Mexican fighter claims.
"Claro, since I beat him I feel I’m the champion. Like they say in my town, I’m a champion without a crown. It sounds nice and I think I’ve earned it with hard work. I want to be number one in the world and I’m going to achieve that.
“I knew I had to win decisively in the first fight. This time it will be different. I’ll win, but you’ll see a totally different Mauricio Lara. I’ll be a different person. I have more drive in this fight because Warrington has been saying a lot of things and he’ll regret it.”
Warrington on life after Lara defeat
“There were times when we were going out to the supermarket and I would say to the missus, ‘I’ll just wait in the car’. I didn’t want to put people in the awkward position when you go past someone in the bread aisle and they’re like, ‘Are you alright mate?’
“Time’s a healer. If you’ve got a worldie of a girl and she leaves you, you’re devastated and you think your world has come crashing down. ‘But eventually, you go out and find another girl and she’s the love of your life.
“For the first six or seven weeks, I was dealing with injuries and that covered up all the thoughts of losing. I had a fractured jaw… an operation on my elbow, a damaged shoulder, my ear was perforated.
“I know how important this fight is for me. I think it’s going to be very different, and much better, for me this time round.”