Josh Warringtons career could be over if he loses to Mauricio Lara again

Josh Warrington is confident that it will be different this time. Fighters always are, but his is only one side of the argument.

Mauricio Lara proved too much for Warrington seven months ago. He has hardly gone backwards since.

So the fight in Leeds is loaded with risk. If Warrington loses, it is almost certainly over for him.

While he is to be admired for jumping straight back in, he might have been better advised to seek a quieter route.

He wants to beat this guy to prove it was a one-off like Anthony Joshua did against Andy Ruiz.

The difference is, Joshua did not suffer anywhere near the same punishment and Ruiz was in no condition to repeat the dose.

Warrington left the ring in an ambulance with a broken jaw and a perforated ear drum.

Lara is heavy handed banger. WBO champ Emanuel Navarrete warned Warrington beforehand that Lara was destructive a puncher.

You have to be on your toes and circle the ring to beat him. You can’t be an easy target. But that is not how Warrington likes to fight.

Warrington is not a mover. He is a worker and a grinder. He wins through attrition. He likes to go get you, which played into Lara’s hands the last time.

At this stage of a long career I don’t see him changing suddenly into a Sugar Ray Leonard.

Warrington is an honest pro who has maxed out his talent. I wasn’t sure he could beat Lee Selby but he did to win the IBF featherweight crown.

He then walked through Carl Frampton in his first defence to prove his credentials.

He had a close one against Kid Galahad and after defending against Sofiane Takoucht gave up the title rather than meet Galahad a second time.

Lara was supposed to be a tune-up for a crack at Xu Can for a version of my old WBA crown. The ref stepped him to save him from himself, a decision that arguably saved Warrington’s career.

Lara was beaten inside the first 30 seconds by Eliot Chavez three years ago, one of only two defeats, but that stoppage looked awfully premature.

Warrington has to win and do so convincingly. But I’m not sure the upside of winning balances the jeopardy he faces.

There is no title at stake and the consequences of defeat are even greater this time.

* Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone @McGuigans_Gym @CyclonePromo

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