By Sean Crose
Michael Conlan suffered a second crushing defeat in his world title fight this weekend when he was knocked out by Luis Lopez in his hometown of Belfast. After losing a glorious WBA Featherweight title fight to Leigh Wood in 2022, Conlan was hoping things would work out as he answered the opening bell for a bout with IBF Featherweight Champion Lopez in a scheduled 12-round bout at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Saturday . It just wasn’t supposed to be.
Conlan landed well with jabs in the first while Lopez worked the body effectively. Conlan was certainly the more aggressive of the two, though. The challenger continued to be aggressive in the second while the defending champion, who was the slower of the two men, landed heavier punches. Conlan had strong moments in the third, but Lopez’s patient stalking was telling. Indeed, Conlan was injured in the latter parts of the round. With that in mind, the brave challenger has lived through this chapter.
Despite this, Lopez continued to attack in the fourth, leading Conlan to hold. Lopez, obviously the stronger of the two, was able to continue landing with power. In the fifth it was all over. Lopez’s brilliant header sent Conlan to the mat. And indeed, Conlan’s head hit the canvas as he fell. Conlan’s horn, uninterested in watching the referee count out their fighter, almost immediately threw in the towel.