Christmas Party! Michael Conlan vs Leigh Wood Belfast Bound?

Michael Conlan could have home advantage in his massive ‘regular’ world title fight with Leigh Wood if things go to plan.

It’s understood Conlan Boxing are trying to bring the mandated world title eliminator to Belfast and have SSE Arena hopes for the already eagerly anticipated clash.

The WBA have ordered WBA ‘regular’ world champion Wood [25(15)-2] to defend his title against Michael Conlan [16(8)-0] in a fight that will act as a world title eliminator.

The winner of the bout would be next in line for ‘super’ champion and former Carl Frampton rival Leo Santa Cruz, although with the American’s future plans a thing of debate some suggest the eliminator may be upgraded an out and out world title fight.

Both parties were contacted by the sanctioning body in late August and were given 30 days to agree on a deal or the clash will go to purse bids.

It’s understood Conlan Boxing, headed up by former world title challenger Jamie Conlan, are working on getting the fight to Belfast. They would like the Top Rank fighter to take on the Matchroom fighter at the SSE Arena in December.

Bringing a titleholder with a new Matchroom contract in his back pocket to Belfast would be a coup of sorts for the new promotional outfit, would prove a real signal of intent promotionally, and would most likely be beneficial to a host of local talent.

It would also mean back-to-back Belfast fights for the Olympic medal winner for the first time since he turned pro and provide further proof of his pulling power.

Conlan became mandatory for Wood when he won the ‘interim’ WBA 126lbs title by beating TJ Doheny at the Feile in August.

The ‘interim’ title was scrapped soon after but Belfast’s Olympic medal winner was given mandatory status in its place and, so, is next in line for Wood, who obtained the strap following a stunning twelfth-round stoppage of Xu Can on July 31st.

As well as the strap a shot at the world champion is on the line. The current WBA featherweight champion is Leo Santa Cruz but the Mexican-American has not fought in the class in over two years. As a result, there have been constant suggestions that the Matchroom man will be elevated to full/’Super’ champion in the near future meaning any Conlan fight could be for the ‘super’ title.

If the fight does go to a purse bids, the split 55/45 in favour of Wood as the reigning secondary titlist.

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