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Josh Warrington admits he underestimated Mauricio Lara, wants a rematch

josh-warrington-matchroom-ftr Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Josh Warrington suffered the first defeat of his career in brutal fashion when he was stopped by Mexico's Mauricio Lara at the SSE Arena on Saturday, but the Leeds fighter believes he can win a rematch.

Warrington paid the price for engaging too openly with the hard-hitting contender and was somehow allowed to fight on after a torrid fourth round, in which Lara knocked him down and appeared to do enough for the stoppage.

Instead, the home hope was given the chance to attempt to recover from Round 5 onwards, but Warrington was clearly in a bad way and Lara once again turned up the heat in the ninth, scoring another knockdown and ultimately the stoppage.

Warrington was taken to hospital after the fight and he been given the all-clear from brain scans, but suffered a fractured jaw, a shoulder injury and a perforated eardrum.

He joined Jim White and Simon Jordan on Talksport on Thursday to speak about the end of his impressive unbeaten record.

“I’ve got a sore shoulder and I got a scan after the fight in hospital on the brain and everything, but I’m okay,” he said. “I will probably have to go back for some follow-ups just to check things are okay, but so far everything is good.

“The obvious question is, ‘you got caught cold?’ I certainly did, and it’s dangerous to overlook anybody in this game. Maybe I had one eye on what was to come after beating this guy. I still believe this guy is not at the same level as me, but it’s not easy for me to say after I’ve been knocked out by him.

“Skillset – I don’t think he’s the same level. He caught me cold and at the end of the day it’s sport and these things happen.”

On the questionble decision made by the official to allow him to compete beyond the fourth round, Warrington added: “I can understand why people may say that but, for myself, Howard Foster is an experienced referee, he’s seen me about many times, he’s refereed me before and judged my fights.

“He will know what I’m capable of doing, and I think he knew it was towards the end of the round and would give me as much opportunity to try and be there as long as possible.

“I think I came on strong from then on but, in the same breath, if the referee was going to stop it then there would be no arguments.

“I’m glad he let it go on. If I’d have battled back and I almost brought it back into my favour. It’s just one of those things that happens.”

On a potential rematch, he said: “I’m really eager to right the wrongs. If I didn’t have that then I wouldn’t be bothered. 

“As soon as I got into the changing rooms, I was knocking myself thinking ‘what’s gone wrong?’ I need to right that mistake and need to prove this guy isn’t my level and beat the guys who I’ve been talking about wanting to fight.

“That fire is there and the day it goes out I’ll call it a day.”

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