document.write(''); Michael Conlan knows Lopez fight 'must win' after Wood loss - Simo Baha

Michael Conlan knows Lopez fight ‘must win’ after Wood loss

MICHAEL CONLAN believes he can use different methods to beat Luis Alberto Lopez on Saturday night.

The two will meet at Belfast’s SSE Arena for the Mexican’s world featherweight title.

For Conlan, this is his second shot at the award, having fallen to Leigh Wood in March 2022.

Lopez brings a less traditional Mexican style to the table, while Conlan has world-class skills built over a stellar amateur career.

His fellow Northern Irishman and former two-weight champion Carl Frampton recently interviewed Conlan for BT Sport and asked him how he thought the fight would go.

“I see myself winning by any means necessary,” he said.

“I can see myself stopping him, I can see myself beating him by points. I’ve seen all kinds of results and that’s just Michael Conlan winning. I don’t care how I do it. I’m going to try to make it nice and clean, make it a boring fight, but he’s the type of fighter that can change that and does his job. All I have to do is fight my fight, do it the right way and win it comfortably.”

Lopez won his belt by defeating Josh Warrington in Leeds five months ago. His majority decision victory was well deserved and proved just how unpredictable he can be throughout the fight.

Conlan paid tribute to the Mexican’s success but knows what to expect.

“It’s not an easy fight. I’m up there with a great champion, a road fighter who has gone and done it the hard way in most of his fights.

“He comes to defend his belt in Belfast full of confidence after beating Josh Warrington in Leeds in a very hostile environment. He’s very awkward, very unusual, but I think his greatest qualities will be his greatest weaknesses.”

Since turning pro with Top Rank in March 2017, Conlan has had expectations from an entire nation. The pressure is something he is used to, but with the loss to Wood, the stakes are now higher for Saturday’s fight.

“It’s a must-win, no doubt about it,” he said.

“Losing Lee Wood will probably be the best thing that’s happened to me because it’s settled it perfectly.

“I’ve learned so much about myself as a fighter, as a person, [and] how to get behind things. It’s the right time and it happened at the right time. I am 31 years old [but] I feel like I’m 31 years old. I think athletes can actually go further now. I feel like I’m in that position right now, probably at my peak physically and mentally.”

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