Leigh Wood (28 – 3, 17 KO) formally vacated the WBA featherweight title he defended earlier this month, via a 7th-round knockout victory over Josh Warrington, as he will plan to campaign in the super featherweight division of 130 pounds. Wood initially regained his title in a unanimous decision victory over Mauricio Lara, following their initial bout where Lara knocked out Wood in seven rounds.
“We are writing to formally confirm that Leigh Wood has decided to vacate his title with immediate effect,” Matchroom Boxing’s Tom Dallas informed the WBA on Tuesday. “Leigh has had a remarkable journey as the WBA featherweight champion, and we appreciate the opportunities he has been afforded during this time.”
Wood’s decision comes eleven days after his knockout victory over Warrington on October 7th and absolves Wood from having to face Otabek Kholmatov, the mandatory challenger in waiting for the title. Wood, Warrington, and Matchroom each had to seek special permission from the WBA to move forward with their fight, with the agreement that the winner would have to take on the mandatory challenger, Kholmatov. Wood, who will now move up in weight, has alternative challenges in mind.
“Leigh is determined to become a two-weight world champion and he has set his sights on the Super Featherweight division,” noted Dallas. With that in mind, we kindly request for Leigh to be highly ranked in the WBA super featherweight rankings, once updated.”
Regarding Wood’s previously held title, the WBA will likely order a vacant title fight between Kholmatov and Raymond Ford (14-0-1, 7 KO), the #2 ranked featherweight by the WBA.