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Luis Alberto Lopez defends against Michael Conlan on May 27th on ESPN+ in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Image: Luis Alberto Lopez defends against Michael Conlan on May 27th on ESPN+ in Belfast, Northern Ireland

By Allan Fox: IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez will be making his first defense of his recently won title against #6 Michael Conlan on May 27th on ESPN+ in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  The fight will be shown in the afternoon in the U.S. on May 27th.

The two-time Irish Olympian Conlan (18-1, 9 KOs) is getting another title shot after being knocked out in the twelfth round in a battle for the WBA ‘regular’ featherweight title against Leigh Wood last year in March in Nottingham, England.

Conlan hasn’t done much to deserve this title shot against Luis Lopez since losing to Wood. In Conlan’s last two fights, he’s beaten journeyman Miguel Marriaga by a 10 round unanimous last August and Karim Guerfi (31-7, 5 KOs) by a first round knockout last December.

Ideally, Conlan should have had to defeat at least one quality contender like Robeisy Ramirez to get a second title shot so quickly after losing in his previous attempt only last year.

The tough Mexican Lopez (27-2, 15 KOs) will be on the road once again, traveling to Conlan’s hometown to defend against the Irish fighter in front of his home fans.

No stranger to traveling for fights, Lopez recently dethroned IBF 126-lb champion Josh Warrington by a 12 round majority decision last December in Leeds, England.

Lopez had to walk through a firestorm of fouls to get the win, getting head-butted, low-blowed, hit on the backside, and shoved around during the fight against the hometown fighter Warrington—all that without Warrington once being penalized.

With the massive number of fouls Warrington committed in the fight, the referee would have been in the right to disqualify him by the sixth round because it got out of hand.

Poor Lopez was out there on his own, getting roughed up nonstop by Warrington in a foul clinic that resembled a boxer against an anything-goes MMA fighter.  What’s interesting is how fans saw it so differently. While the British fans felt that Warrington deserved the win, people elsewhere saw it as a clearcut 9-3 win for Lopez.

Conlan was having his way against Wood, dropping him in the first round and battering the overmatched fighter in front of his fans in Nottingham. However, Conlan faded in the championship rounds, allowing Wood to overtake him in the 12th round to score a come-from-behind miracle knockout.

“Luis Alberto Lopez will defend his IBF featherweight title against Michael Conlan on May 27 in the challenger’s native Belfast, Northern Ireland, after the fighters struck a deal,” said Mike Coppinger to ESPN.

“The 126-pound title fight, which shapes up as a slugfest, will be streamed stateside on ESPN+ in the afternoon.”

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