Ben Davison Confident he has Game Plan to Beat “Predictable” Michael Conlan

Ben Davison believes he has devised a game plan that will bring around the demise of a ‘predictable’ Michael Conlan [16(8)-0].

The English coach will be in the opposite corner to the Belfast fighter at the Motor Point Arena on Saturday night, guiding Leigh Wood through the Matchroom promoted Dazn broadcast fight – and is confident he will help his charge successfully defend tthe WBA ‘regular’ world title.

Davison argues the hometown fighter will take full advantage of the Olympic medal winner’s ‘predictable’ approach to swing things in his favour – and ultimately win the eagerly-anticipated bout.

The controversial trainer claims ‘Leigh-thal’ doesn’t need his noted power to win – but does think it will prove pivotal – and suggests he will punish Conlan when scenarios they believe are inevitable arise.

“Mick is versatile but, in my opinion, predictable,” Davison said.

“Leigh Wood’s power is ridiculous but it’s not the be all and end all but in my opinion, there are too many scenarios and tendencies that create opportunities for fight changing moments for Leigh not to exploit those moments,” he adds before again stressing the power isn’t the only asset the champion brings to the fight.

“Leigh Wood has always been able to punch but the reason he is having success is down to the fact he has focused on other areas. Power is an element in this fight and I believe it’s one that will play out in the fight – but it’s not the be-all and end-all.”

Davison didn’t quite assume the panto villain role a-la Joe Gallagher ahead of Carl Frampton versus Scott Quigg but he has been pushed into the role.

His approach has been questioned by the Conlans, who also suggest he doesn’t have faith in his fighter. The young trainer who coaches Josh Taylor among others took it all on the chin suggesting it’s all part of the promotion.

“They say talk is cheap but it’s not because it sells tickets and promotes fights. At the end of the day what really matters is what the two fighters produce in the ring at the end of the night.

“Because I’m young people associate that with an ego and think I’m going to get that ego hurt but I’m not bothered by things like that. It’s about the fighters. I’m here for Leigh, but if they have certain things to say to me, well I’m going to answer back and express my opinion. You cant’ get too emotional, I learnt that with other high-profile fighters and again it’s all down to what the fighters produce on the night.”

Controlling the emotions of Wood is not something Davison has to worry about, he claims the fighter many believe will be under huge pressure this weekend naturally takes everything in his stride.

“I have worked with a lot of fighters and Leigh Wood’s mental attitude going into a fight is extremely calm and composed. The mental side of things is not something I have to worry about. Leigh Wood is mentally very very strong.”

Davison also believes the best Wood will be on display in the massive fight on Saturday night. The coach argues the Nottingham fighter has come to understand his philosophy and is more dangerous as result.

“Going into the world title fight [with Xu Can] there was an element of ‘I get it, I see what you’re saying, I understand why your asking me to do that’. He just got my philosophy and my system and how that adjusts depending on the opponent. To me, that’s coaching and the way Leigh boxed against Reece Mould compared to how he boxed against Xu Can is very different and it will be different again in this fight with Mick Conlan.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com