Tuesday, February 27

Leigh Wood vs. Josh Warrington fight prediction, undercard, odds, start time, preview, picks, live stream

For years, Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington have talked up an eventual clash. On Saturday, they’ll finally share the ring with Wood’s WBA featherweight championship on the line in Sheffield, England (2 p.m. ET, DAZN).

Warrington (31-2-1, 8 KO) is just 1-2-1 since 2021 and one could certainly say that such a run doesn’t deserve a shot at a world title. Warrington’s lone win in that stretch was over Kiko Martínez in a fight that won Warrington the IBF featherweight title for the second time in his career.

Warrington’s second title reign was short-lived, with him dropping a majority decision to Luis Alberto Lopez this past December. Despite the loss, Warrington and Wood wanted to make the fight and Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn has been keen on the fight for some time as well, and that’s good enough to get a fight done in boxing.

Wood (27-3, 16 KO) won the WBA’s secondary title with a 12th-round stoppage of Xu Can in 2021. He defended that belt with one of 2022’s most dramatic fights, knocking Michael Conlan out of the ring for a second consecutive 12th-round stoppage, this time in a fight Conlan had almost entirely controlled until the stoppage.

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After WBA world champion Leo Santa Cruz couldn’t come to terms for a mandatory defense against Wood despite multiple orders, Santa Cruz vacated his belt, leaving Wood as the sanctioning body’s top champion.

In February, Wood dropped the belt when he was stopped by Mauricio Lara in a fight where Wood performed well until he was caught by a solid hook. Wood was given a rematch in May and again performed well, this time taking a clear decision win to regain his title.

The undercard features an interesting clash in the women’s ranks when WBA super welterweight champion Terri Harper takes on veteran Cecilia Braekus with the vacant WBO title also at stake. Harper, 26, has quickly climbed the ranks to become one of the top women’s fighters in the world. Her lone defeat came at the hands of another elite fighter in Alycia Baumgardner in November 2021 in a defense of her unified junior welterweight titles. Now, having claimed a title two weight classes up, Harper welcomes another elite in Braekus, who earned undisputed status at welterweight before dropping a pair of bouts to Jessica McCaskill in 2020 and 2021. 

Let’s take a closer look at the rest of the fight card in Sheffield on Saturday night before getting to a prediction and expert pick on the main event.

Wood vs. Warrington fight card, odds

Leigh Wood (c) -170

Josh Warrington +143

WBA featherweight title

Terri Harper (c) -700

Cecilia Braekhus +500

WBA and WBO super welterweight title

Linus Udofia -130

Kieron Conway +110

Middleweight

Hopey Price -1100

Connor Coghill +700

Featherweight

Viewing information

  • Date: Oct. 7 | Start time: 2 p.m. ET (main events around 5 p.m. ET)
  • Location: Utilita Arena — Sheffield, England
  • How to watch: DAZN (subscription required)

Prediction

Wood is the better boxer and has the better power in his shots. He also seems to be coming into his own as a fighter, with two good showings against the always-dangerous Lara. Warrington is tough and has skills but has a lot of miles on his body and has looked like a faded fighter over the past five years.

Warrington has some veteran savvy that will keep him in the fight for a while, even if he isn’t winning rounds in the process. Over time, Wood likely takes full control of the fight in the middle rounds before either scoring a late stoppage or taking a wide decision. Pick: Leigh Wood via UD





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