Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan IBF Title Fight Set for May 27
Michael Conlan (18-1-1, 9 KOs) gets a second world title shot, and it will be on his home turf as challenges IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez (27-2, 15 KOs) on May 27 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Ireland.
Conlan was involved in one of the most dramatic fights of 2022 when he was stopped in the final round by then-WBA champion Leigh Wood in March of that year. Ahead on the scorecards entering the twelfth round, Conlan let his guard down. He paid dearly as Wood hurt and knocked him out of the ring at the midway point of the twelfth and final round.
The 31-year-old has fought twice since the fight with Wood. In August 2022, Conlan scored a ten-round unanimous decision win over Miguel Marriaga. That was followed by a first-round KO over Karim Guerif in December 2022.
Next up is Lopez, a product of the traditionally tough Mexican boxing circuit. He captured the IBF belt with a majority decision over two-time featherweight champion Josh Warrington in December 2022.
This is a fight that pits the two-fisted power and volume-punching and awkwardness of the defending champion versus the technical skills of the challenger.
With the manner in which Conlan was concussed against Wood, there are lingering questions about the chin of the Irishman. How will he cope with the pressure style of the Mexican who throws punches in bunches from all angles?
Lopez won the title in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds, England. So, the 29-year-old Mexican will not be bothered by fighting on enemy turf. But he’s up against a southpaw in Conlan that can box and has underrated power.
It’s unlikely that the defending champion could win a battle of skills. So, his mission is to walk Conlan down and make this more of a slugfest. The Irish crowd will be rocking for what figures to be an excellent contest.
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