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Michael Conlan asking for rematch against Leigh Wood

Image: Michael Conlan asking for rematch against Leigh Wood

By Jim Calfa: Michael Conlan says he wants a chance for a rematch with WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood after losing to him by a 12th round knockout loss last Saturday night in a thrilling contest at the Nottingham Arena in Nottingham, England.

Conlan (16-1, 8 KOs) feels that after watching the contest back, he deserves a rematch with Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) due to the excitement their match generated for the fans.

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Going into the final round, Conlan was winning and on the verge of getting a decision victory had he survived the final round. Unfortunately for Conlan, he was caught by a right hand that he didn’t see coming and was knocked out of the ring in the 12th.

Wood, 33, and his promoter Eddie Hearn didn’t mention the possibility of a rematch with Conlan at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night.

Hearn wants Wood to fight the winner of the March 26th fight between IBF featherweight champion Kiko Martinez and Josh Warrington or face WBA Super World champion Leo Santa Cruz.

Given the severity of Conlan’s knockout, that likely is one of the reasons Hearn wants Wood to go in another direction. With that kind of a knockout, it would be best for Conlan to take a couple of tune-ups before looking for a rematch with Wood if it’s a fight that boxing fans are still interested in seeing by that point.

Wood’s career could tank quickly after his next fight. With the punishment that Wood took against Conlan, he could be asking for trouble in taking on the Martinez vs. Warrington winner or battling Santa Cruz.

“These things happen. You can’t jump in a swimming pool without getting wet,” said Michael Conlan to Matchroom Boxing in talking about his 12th round knockout loss to Leigh Wood last Saturday.

Image: Michael Conlan asking for rematch against Leigh Wood

“I want to run it back, and after watching it, I think my performance deserves to go again. That’s the type of fight anyone would want to watch again. People are saying it’s the ‘fight of the year.’ I don’t like to be in those types of fights.

“Yeah, all the scans were clear. It’s just a precaution when you get knocked out. It’s my first time getting knocked out, so I was happy to get the checks done,” said Conlan about his brain scan done last Saturday night after his loss.

“Other than that, my body is sore from the war. It’s not the type of fight that I would usually be in. It’s a different type of fight I’d usually be in. I enjoyed it, but it’s not the type of fight you want to be in for the rest of your career.

“It was a masterclass, but I just got tired,” said Conlan. “It was probably due to Leigh as well. He was working and doing things, but I was fatigued towards the end. I started to get caught with silly shots.

“I’m not going to say Leigh is the biggest puncher I’ve been in the ring with because it would be a lie. I’ve been in the ring with bigger punchers, but he does punch hard enough. My arms are sore from where he was punching me in the arms.

“When I see shots coming, I can take them, but I didn’t see that one coming, and he caught me,” said Conlan.

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