WBA Allows Leo Santa Cruz Vs. Rey Vargas And Leigh Wood-Mauricio Lara, With One Promise
Leo Santa Cruz has been permitted to fight Rey Vargas, but on one condition.
The WBA granted “super” featherweight champion Cruz and regular champion Leigh Wood to take on two separate fights, but the winner of each bout must then fight.
Cruz will fight undefeated WBC champion Rey Vargas while Wood faces contender Mauricio Lara on September 24 in Nottingham, England. The Cruz-Vargas fight does not have a date yet.
“The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee approved the joint permit requested by Matchroom Boxing and TGB Promotions to allow featherweight super champion Leo Santa Cruz to face Rey Vargas in a unification fight and featherweight champion Leigh Wood to make a defense against Mauricio Lara,” the sanctioning body said on Wednesday.
“Both fights were approved with the condition that the super champion will face the champion to define the sole champion of the category within 120 days after the fight between Santa Cruz and Vargas.
“It should be noted that the WBA, in the midst of world title reduction plan, ordered the Santa Cruz-Wood last April 6, 2022. On July 11, TGB requested a permit to make the Santa Cruz Vargas, which was denied on July 15 by the championships committee, which called for a purse bid for Santa Cruz-Wood. On August 12, both companies sent a communication stating that they had reached an agreement and the purse bid was suspended. Subsequently, on the 22nd of that same month, the joint permission was requested in which the Santa Cruz-Vargas and the Wood-Lara were requested, with the commitment that both winners would face each other in the established term to define the only champion.”
The featherweight division is one of seven weight classes where the WBA still has more than one champion, despite it being more than a year since they announced a title reduction.
Vargas called out Santa Cruz after he overcame former champion Mark Magsayo for the title on July 9.
Santa Cruz would be returning for his first fight at feather since February 2019. He has held the title twice. He won it back in January 2017 with a unanimous decision win over Carl Frampton.
Wood earned the WBA world title last August thanks to a 12th round knockout against Xu Can. He defended his title with a dramatic last-round knockout of Michael Conlan on March 12.
Lara goes into the battle with a 14-fight winning streak, which includes his ninth-round knockout victory against then-undefeated Josh Warrington last February.