|Venue: Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham Date: Saturday, 18 February|
|Coverage: Radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live from 22:00 GMT; live text coverage and reaction on BBC Sport website & app from 21:00 GMT.|
WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood and opponent Mauricio Lara were involved in a bizarre weigh-in on Friday that saw the British boxer confronted by his rival’s coach in an argument over the scales and ended with the Mexican sharing a pizza on stage with promoter Eddie Hearn.
Both hit the scales at exactly the 9st (126lb) limit in a heated public weigh-in for Saturday’s world-title bout in Nottingham, but Lara’s trainer, Alejandro Galindo, seemed to be angry because the scales were in kilograms, not pounds, and confronted Wood.
“The coach just grabbed Wood and I lost my cool a little bit because you shouldn’t touch a fighter – they’re making weight,” Hearn told BBC Sport.
“The British Boxing Board of Control inspector then converted it. Wood was bang on the number but Lara’s coach didn’t see the weight. Then the inspector confirmed to the trainer the weight and he was fine.”
Hearn and team Lara later put their squabble to one side when the challenger – who unconventionally was eating a pizza just minutes after weighing in – handed a slice to Hearn, perhaps as a peace offering.
“It was a cold pepperoni pizza, but I’m not going to moan about it,” Hearn told BBC Sport.
“That’s Mexican boxing for you. Over here Leigh Wood would be told when he can eat, which is normally after you refuel, about two hours after the weigh in. But Lara just wolfed the pizza straight down him.”
‘It was the perfect weigh-in’
Wood – who won the belt against China’s Xu Can in 2021 – sensationally defended his title last March by knocking out Michael Conlan in the 12th round.
The 34-year-old – who will once again be headlining the Motorpoint Arena in his home city – was sporting a scarf of his beloved Nottingham Forest Football Club, with Lara, 24, draped in Mexico colours.
The two fighters were separated by security after their face-to-face as they jostled when posing for the media, but Hearn does not feel either overstepped the mark.
“That’s how you want a weigh-in to be – it was intense and it was perfect,” Hearn said.
“You never want a headbutt or a slap because that can affect the fight. But those stills or video content you will see of them two going at each other, that’s what a fan will look at it and be interested in.
“For me as a promoter and the security team, it is all about getting that and then stepping in at the right time.”
Hearn also confirmed former two-weight world champion Josh Warrington – who was shocked by Lara in 2021 – will be ringside on Saturday night, and could face the winner.
He said: “Josh Warrington is the natural fight for Leigh Wood. Two Brits. Two massive fanbases. Josh will want the winner, but the winner will always be looking at unifications.”