Luis Alberto Lopez (27-2) makes the first defence of his IBF Featherweight title reign as he travels to Michael Conlan’s (18-1) backyard.
The Mexican defeated Josh Warrington by majority-decision in Leeds back in December to win the belt, edging out a close, rough scrap. Now ‘El Venado’ has assumed the role of the away fighter once again, despite his new status as champion, as he takes on esteemed amateur, Conlan, in his hometown of Belfast.
Conlan claimed the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics before winning gold at the Commonwealth Games, the European Amateur Championships and the World Amateur Champions.
He turned professional in 2017, winning his first sixteen outings, but lost to Leigh Wood in heart-wrenching fashion last year in an attempt at the WBA (Regular) title.
Conlan looked to be cruising towards victory against the Englishman, ahead on all three cards in the twelfth round, before he was dramatically knocked out, falling through the ropes in what was later deemed the Fight and Knockout of the Year.
While Conlan is thought as an easy-on-the-eye, slick boxer, Lopez’s reputation is one of polar opposite, known for his high output, relentless pressure and rugged yet effective offence.
The general consensus is that a hard-to-hit, efficient puncher can stay out of trouble against an opponent with arguably less ‘boxing skills’, hence why Conlan has been made favourite for the victory by the bookmakers.
However, Lopez has dealt with this style of opponent before, and in impressive fashion. In 2021, he comfortably dispatched of Gabriel Flores Jr, a 91-7 amateur, who was a twelve-time national champion before he turned professional.
Saturday night should make for an entertaining fight and an outstanding atmosphere, with Belfast always getting behind their man. He will need it now more than ever as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Carl Frampton as world champion.
How Can I Watch Lopez vs Conlan?
The event will be available to watch on BT Sport 2, where UK fans will require a subscription or monthly pass.
Where Is Lopez vs Conlan?
The fight takes place at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
When does Lopez vs Conlan Start?
The undercard takes place from 4pm (BST) this Saturday, with BT Sport coverage beginning at 7pm (BST) and ring walks for the main-event scheduled to get underway at the revised time of 9pm (BST), to avoid clashing with both Mauricio Lara vs Leigh Wood 2 and Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith.
Lopez vs Conlan Undercard
- Nick Ball (17-0) vs. Ludomo Lumati (21-0-1) – Featherweight (WBC Silver)
- Anthony Cacace (20-1) vs. Damian Wrzesinski (26-2-2) – Super-Featherweight (IBO World Title)
- Conor Quinn (5-0-1) vs. Juan Hinostroza (11-10-2) – Super-Flyweight
- Padraig McCrory (16-0) vs. Diego Ramirez (25-9-1) – Super-Middleweight
- Pierce O’Leary (11-0) vs. Alin Ciorceri (17-3) – Super-Lightweight (WBC International)
- William Hayden (5-0) vs. Jordan Ellison (14-47-3) – Lightweight
- Kieran Molloy (5-0) vs. Lesther Espino (6-3) – Welterweight
- Fearghus Quinn (5-0) vs. Ruben Angulo (8-5-2) – Midddleweight
- Kurt Walker (6-0) vs. Maicol Velazco (10-6) – Featherweight
- James Freeman (debut) vs. Jordan Grannum (8-115-4) – Middleweight
- Callum Thompson (6-0) vs. Marian Istrate (3-16) – Lightweight