Deer Lopez by knockout of Michael Conlan
Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez (28-2, 16 KOs) defended his IBF World Featherweight title via TKO in the fifth round Michael “Mick” Conlan (18-2, 9 KOs) Saturday night at The SSE Arena in Belfast, Conlan’s hometown.
Lopez defended his crown for the first time after defeating Josh Warrington in enemy territory in Leeds, England. Once again, the 29-year-old native of Mexicali, Mexico has prospered in a faraway land.
Conlan, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist who was attempting to win the world title for the second time, as expected, initiated the competition by jabbing from the south paw position to set the distance. However, Lopez landed explosive left hooks and a right hand to the body with surprising ease. Conlan ended the round with a flurry of left hands, but Lopez kept the round from ending without hitting his own.
In the next round, both men traded punches to the body. Lopez pushed Conlan towards the ropes, but the 31-year-old Irishman returned the favor.
In the third stanza, Conlan relied more on head movements to avoid Lopez’s punches, dipping his head inwards to avoid wild hooks. This backfired as Lopez landed an uppercut that injured Conlan and sent him flying towards the ropes.
Conlan attempted to regroup in the fourth, but by then the damage had already been done. In the fifth round, as Conlan dodged to avoid a wild hook, he landed a right uppercut that immediately knocked him down, forcing his corner to throw in the towel.
Lopez said: “I hope all the world champions in the featherweight division are ready for ‘Venado’ Lopez. I will come for them all. I want all their belts. One by one, I’m taking all the belts with me to Mexico.
“It was the perfect fighting atmosphere. The energy was amazing. The Irish boxing fans treated me very well so I’m happy Mick and I were able to give them a great fight. I wish Conlan the best of luck moving forward and hope he recovers and returns very soon.”
Conlan said, “Lopez had my respect before the fight and he still has my respect after the fight. It hits very hard. He just beat me. He travels well and is a great champion.”
Featherweight: English pretender Nick Ball (18-0, 11 KOs) defended his WBC silver title, winning by TKO in the 12th round. This is Lamati’s fame (21-1-1, 11 KOs). Lamati’s six-inch height advantage presented a problem for Ball in the first two rounds of the fight, but in the third and fourth, Ball began closing the gap with ease. Once inside, the 26-year-old landed miscombinations and Lamati’s corner stopped the fight in the later stages of the final round.
junior welterweight: Irish differentiator Pierce O’Leary (12-0, 7 KOs) defended the WBC International belt after a stoppage in the first round