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Conlan backed as the man to tame Lara

Michael ConlanĀ [18(9)-1(1)] is the man to beat recently crowned WBA featherweight world champion Mauricio Lara according to pundit Barry Jones and his manager Jamie Conlan.

The Mexican completed another Matchroom upset mission when he knocked out Leigh Wood in Nottingham just over a week ago – and the fighter, who previously shocked Josh Warrington, got the tangible reward this time in the form of a world title.

The win changes the landscape of the featherweight division, a division that Conlan wants to begin to dominate in 2023.

The Olympic medal winner is closing in on a home world title fight with IBF featherweight world champion Luis Alberto Lopez and is expected to challenge the Mexican, who dethroned Warrington, on May 27.

Win that belt and Lara is a potential target, indeed the Mexican is now a more attractive fight than a Wood rematch – and if it was to be made Jones believes Conlan beats the KO artist and ends his run of upsets.

“I tell you who beats Lara. And people might say ‘no, no’ because Leigh Wood knocked him out – Michael Conlan,” Jones told iD Boxing.

“I honestly think he dances rings round him.

“Conlan can get caught, as we’ve seen, but he won’t hold his feet for a second. And he will spin around Lara.

“Nobody has done it against Lara because nobody has been able to, but Leigh Wood showed he can outbox him. And the difference between Wood and Conlan, and Lara and Conlan, is Wood has a bit of height and reach so he can close the distance a bit better.”

Conlan Boxing promoter Jamie Conlan is in agreement.

“I see a lot of things in Lara that Michael could exploit, definitely. The big thing Lara has is the undeniable power,” Jamie told Belfast Live.

“But I think he looked worse (against Wood) than he did against Warrington, and he’s not fundamentally great. And it’s a fight I think Michael wins, but he would have to be physically and mentally prepared for it because it would be grueling, mentally.

“I don’t think Wood expected that, having to be on your game because Lara can knock you out at any stage.”

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 sports for a living for over 20 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