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Josh Warrington feels he is hitting 'harder than ever'

Josh Warrington is hitting "harder than ever".

The featherweight fighter takes on Mexican Mauricio Lara this weekend and is confident that he can knock his opponent out in the early rounds.

Warrington told Sky Sports: "I'd love nothing more than to give the fans 12 rounds toe-to-toe but it's about me doing what I need to do to win.

"I believe that by sticking to the game-plan it could be an early night.

"I'm pretty confident that I'm hitting harder than ever. I feel strong.

"There is a reason that I'm number one in the world and I'll show why on Saturday."

Warrington has won all 30 of his career fights but is wary of Lara as he understands the power of the underdog.

He said of his opponent: "He has no pressure, nothing to lose.

"We see it all the time in sport, upsets happen and underdogs flourish.

"I've been an underdog many times and I've flourished.

"On paper this man shouldn't stand with me but he still has two hands and two gloves. To overlook him would be ridiculous. I'm completely focused."

Warrington had seen set for a fight with Can Xu but it twice fell through but he has a number of opponents lined up as long as he beats Lara.

He said: "We were expecting a tough fight with Can Xu. Obviously that wasn't meant to be.

"Lara is the man next in front of me and I can't look past him.

"There are big targets out there - Can Xu, Gary Russell Jr but it all comes down to Saturday.

"I've been out of the ring for 15 months, I'm no longer a world champion so I'm starting again."

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