WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wooden has extra motivation with some critics tabbing him because the underdog in subsequent month’s protection towards Mauricio Lara in Nottingham.

Final 12 months, Lara scored a brutal knockout of Josh Warrington.

Wooden has a sensational knockout win of his personal, when he received off the ground to attain a sensational twelfth spherical knockout of Olympian Michael Conlan.

Wooden was the underdog within the combat with Conlan and he was additionally the underdog in his knockout win of Xu Can.

On February 18, the 34-year-old Wooden will make his first protection of the title.

“I favor being an underdog and I really like proving individuals unsuitable,” Wooden mentioned to BBC Sport.

“Individuals tweet me on a regular basis and say, ‘it is a mismatch and I’ll lose’ however should you have a look at my Twitter I retweet them as a result of it fuels me.”

“Successful fuels me. Lara has a mode that fits me. Conlan was all unsuitable for me stylistically, however kinds make fights and I am assured in my capacity. If I method this combat unsuitable, it could possibly be brutal. Lara is nice and we noticed that within the first combat with Josh Warrington, but when I do as I plan, this combat will not attain midway – I’ll get Lara out of there.”

Wooden and Lara had been initially set to collide in September of final 12 months. The combat was postponed when Wooden suffered a torn bicep whereas sparring.

When the combat was pushed again, Lara threw water on the claimed harm.

“He [Lara] mentioned I faked my harm and that aggravated me. Why would I faux my harm?” Wooden mentioned.

“I did not should combat him; it is a voluntary defence, however I need to take a look at myself and I’ll present him what I am all about.”

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