Conlan vs Lopez Tonight: Start Time, Undercard & Live Stream Info
By Craig Daly: Michael Conlan will be challenging IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez tonight at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Ireland, LIVE on ESPN+ at 1:30 p.m. ET/ 10:30 a.m. PT.
What’s interesting about this fight is the IBF champion Luis Lopez (27-2, 15 KOs) will be going on the road again despite being the champ in this match to battle the 31-year-old Irish native Conlan on his home turf in Belfast.
In the 29-year-old Mexican warrior Lopez’s last fight, he marched into Leeds, England, and defeated the hometown fighter Josh Warrington by a foul-plagued 12 round majority decision last December at the First Direct Arena.
For Lopez to be going on the road again, but this time as the champion, it’s a little disappointing. That suggests that Lopez isn’t a big enough star yet for big money to be there in Mexico so that he could defend his IBF 126-lb belt in front of his fans.
Hopefully, the referee does a better job of policing fouls than the one that worked Lopez’s fight in Leeds against Warrington. There was a lot of head-butting and rabbit punching from Warrington.
At one point, Warrington hit Lopez in the backside with a punch, which seemed to hurt him more than the slew of rabbit shots and head-butts.
The two-time Irish Olympian Conlan (18-1, 9 KOs) is getting another title shot after being knocked out in the 11th round in a bid to capture the WBA 126-lb title last March against Leigh Wood in Nottingham, England.
“May 27 is the date for a potential showdown with reigning IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez at the SSE Arena,” per Belfastlive.
Since Conlan’s knockout loss to Leigh Wood last March, he’s won his last two fights, beating Miguel Marriaga and Karim Guerfi. Conlan had a busy year in 2022, fighting three times and doing an excellent job of returning from his defeat against Wood in Nottingham.
It will be a tough match-up for the 31-year-old Conlan due to Lopez’s awkwardness and punching power. As we saw in Lopez’s fight with Warrington, he throws punches from all angles, and he’s particularly dangerous through the first half of his fights.
If Conlan can avoid getting hurt in the early going, he has a good shot of rallying in the second half to get the win. Lopez doesn’t seem to like pressure, and he acts helpless when roughed up, constantly looking at the referee for assistance rather than toughing it out or returning the favor.
Besides his victory over Warrington, Lopez has victories over Isaac Lowe, Gabriel Flores Jr, and Andy Vences. Lopez’s losses have come against Ruben Villa and Abraham Montoya.
At Thursday’s press conference, this is what the fighters and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum had to say.
Luis Alberto Lopez
“I want to show that I am a true champion. I’ve always been the ‘B side’ throughout my entire career, beating prospects. Now as a world champion I’m going to do more of the same. I want to finish Michael Conlan and then face the other world champions.”
“I am used to this. I’ve fought in the United States. I’ve already fought in the United Kingdom two times. I am used to them not wanting me to win. Everyone wants to see me lose, but let’s not forget that I am the champion.”
“They always say the same thing. They say they’re going to beat me, that they’re going to knock me out, that I’m going to look foolish, that they’re going to send me to go play soccer. They have told me everything. But at the end of the day, when we’re both in the ring, nothing of what they say ever happens.”
“I’m expecting the best Luis Alberto Lopez. I think he’s going to bring everything. He is going to be in the best condition. He’s going to try to knock me out, so I’m prepared for everything he’s going to try to do.”
“I’ve experienced a lot of atmospheres throughout my career now. I’ve experienced it, so I know how to handle it now. I’m looking forward to the fight because I know I’m going to go in there and perform and beat him.”
“He says his plan is to end things quickly. But I know he’s changed trainers a few times throughout this training camp. There are probably other things going on with him, so I don’t think he truly believes that. He has to say that for the cameras. And that’s okay. That’s no problem. I respect him as a fighter, but on Saturday night, I will be champion.”
“It’s been a great run with Mick. He’s a terrific young man. He is a really good fighter, and he’s stepping to the plate against a really tough world champion in Luis Alberto Lopez, who doesn’t hesitate to go into his opponent’s hometown and perform spectacularly. Mick knows it’s not going to be an easy fight. It’s going to be a very tough fight. All the people here in Belfast will have the opportunity to watch a classic, competitive championship fight. It may end up being the fight of the year.”
Lopez vs Conlan 2 Fight Card
(ESPN+, 1:30 P.M. ET/10:30 a.m. PT)
• Luis Alberto Lopez 125.5 lbs. vs. Michael Conlan 125.9 lbs
(Lopez’s IBF Featherweight World Title — 12 Rounds)
• Nick Ball 125.9 lbs vs. Ludumo Lamatii 125.5 lbs
(Ball’s WBC Silver Featherweight Title — 12 Rounds)
• Anthony Cacace 129.9 lbs vs. Damian Wrzesinski 129.4 lbs
(Junior Lightweight — 12 Rounds)
• Pierce O’Leary 139.3 lbs vs. Alin Florin Ciorcerii 140 lbs
(O’Leary’s WBC International Junior Welterweight Title — 10 Rounds)
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