The British Boxing Board of Control is looking into an incident that involved Mauricio Lara spitting on rival Josh Warrington on Saturday night following Lara's featherweight title victory over Leigh Wood, Robert Smith, the general secretary of the board, told ESPN.
Lara (26-2-1, 19 KOs) rallied to score a seventh-round stoppage of Wood in Nottingham, England, and afterward he exchanged words with Warrington, his two-time opponent, who was ringside as a broadcaster for DAZN.
Warrington (31-2-1, 8 KOs) told ESPN on Tuesday that Lara, who stepped through the ropes and onto the apron, spat at him. He said the spit contained blood and that it got all over the shoulder of his suit.
"I consider that to be the lowest of the low," said Warrington, 32. "It's worse than being sucker-punched. It's really degrading. ... It's disgusting."
In an interview with IFLTV, Lara admitted (in remarks interpreted from Spanish) that he spat on Warrington, saying that "it's very, very personal between us." Lara, 24, didn't respond to a message from ESPN seeking comment.
Warrington, who is coming off a majority-decision loss to Luis Alberto Lopez in a December title fight, said he hopes Lara faces discipline for his actions, perhaps a fine of his purse.
There is precedent for such punishment. In 2017, David Haye faced a BBBofC hearing after he threatened to hospitalize Tony Bellew in their boxing match. The BBBofC suspended Billy Joe Saunders' license in 2020 following social media comments it deemed controversial.
Lara scored a major upset to defeat England's Warrington via ninth-round TKO in their first fight February 2021. The September 2021 rematch, also in England, ended in a two-round technical draw after a clash of heads opened a deep gash over Lara's left eye.
Lara, ESPN's No. 1 featherweight, blamed Warrington for an intentional head-butt and still carries a grudge.
"I want to retire him from boxing," Lara said after his win Saturday.
"Sometimes when you go forward fighting and you're looking for quick attacks, heads clash and it's just coincidence," said Warrington, ESPN's No. 4 boxer at 126 pounds. "But I never meant for that to happen."
Lara also accused Warrington on Saturday of disrespecting his father. Warrington told ESPN on Tuesday that he didn't realize Lara's father was part of his training team and meant no disrespect.
Warrington admits the rivalry with Lara "definitely is personal," and he hopes to exact revenge -- both for the spit and the 2021 loss -- in a trilogy fight.
Wood can exercise his contractual right to an immediate rematch, but as Warrington observed, Wood suffered a nasty cut and will also need to recover from a "heavy knockdown." Wood's head bounced off the canvas before the fight was halted by the corner.
It's possible Warrington could fight Lara next if Wood needs ample time to recover. Either way, Warrington is more confident than ever at turning the tables and received fuel for motivation in the form of the recent incident.
"I got a loss and a draw; I need to get that win over him," said Warrington, a former champion whose biggest win came in 2018 against Carl Frampton. "He was down on the cards, and he was getting outboxed. ... I think he got exposed as a basic boxer, but he does have heavy hands."