Michael ConlanBoxing MatchesVS
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We’ve got a banger in the featherweight division as England meets Ireland for the WBA world title.
It’s Leigh Wood v Michael Conlan, more specifically, with both men proudly representing their respective Nottinghamshire and Irish heritage.
Conlan is a storied and proud former Olympian, grabbing golds at World, European and Commonwealth level, but is yet to taste a world title having turned over into the pro game in 2017.
Wood is the defending champion having won this title in dramatic fashion last summer and is making his first defence as a 5/4 underdog with bet365.
With proven endurance and power that carries to the final round, Leigh Wood can’t be slept on at the highest level.
Some fighters find their level later on in their careers and Wood will be hoping he is another name to add to that long list.
Michael Conlan was an excellent amateur but still has plenty to prove in the pro game.
The Irishman’s power at featherweight is still under relative scrutiny and if Wood can drag this fight into the latter rounds then we are expecting a win for the home fighter.
Leigh Wood is 5/4 to beat Michael Conlan with Sportnation as well as with most major betting sites.
Leigh Wood has the potential to become a real household name in the United Kingdom.
The 33-year-old is no spring chicken, but after besting Can Xu for the WBA featherweight crown last summer the Nottingham fighter is on the verge of stardom.
At 25-2, Wood has been round the boxing block and has two defeats on his record to show for it.
One in 2014 to the experienced Gavin McDonnell and most recently to the seasoned Jazza Dickens in 2020 for the WBO European crown.
Two big wins against Reece Mould and Xu for the British and World titles has sky-rocketed “Leigh-thal’s” profile in the last few years and in his first defence will be looking to add the scalp of Conlan.
Michael Conlan is yet to make real waves as a professional, having turned over in 2017.
He owns a 50% KO record across his 16 fights, with TJ Doheny the best name on his record following a UD win last August.
Fighting across the United States and Australia so far in his career, a trip to Nottingham certainly won’t phase the 30-year-old, with a strong contingent of Conlan fans expected to embark on the Nottingham Arena.
Conlan is used to having the weight of expectation on his shoulders after a successful amateur career, but it’s time he proved it in the pro game.
Leigh Wood’s shock win last summer has prompted this match-up for the WBA featherweight crown.
Conlan’s win over TJ Doheny last August secured his spot as the mandatory challenger for the title and the teams have agreed for Nottingham to host.
A heated Belfast press conference has stoked the fire of this eagerly awaited world title fight with Wood struggling against the rowdy Conlan support.
Matchroom will host this contest on DAZN’s streaming platform and a huge crowd is expected.
The Nottingham Arena hosts this fight, opened by Jane Torvill in April 2000.
10,000 is the maximum capacity for this venue, with plenty of Irish fans expected to ascend on the city in support of Conlan.
Situated in Bolero Square in Nottingham – named after Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean’s famous Olympic winning ice-skating dance – the arena is mostly known for hosting music concerts.
Carl Froch, Nottingham’s favourite boxing son, fought Lucien Bute and Yusef Mack inside the Nottingham Arena in 2012, stopping both men inside the distance.
The amateur and pro codes are completely different beats and Leigh Wood’s momentum as a banger in the featherweight division could prove crucial here.
Wood has stopped his opponent in each of his last six wins, including four coming in the ninth round or later in 12-round fights.
This seasoning and experience of digging deep could well tell against the skilful Conlan.