Conlans claim ‘conflict’ exists between Ben Davidson and Leigh Wood

Jamie Conlan believes revelations Ben Davidson previously backed against Leigh Wood has fuelled tensions between coach and fighter ahead of this Saturday’s mega-fight with  Michael Conlan [16(8)-0].

Both Jamie and Michael accused the controversial coach of having no faith in his own fighter at a feisty press conference to officially confirm WBA ‘regular’ champion Leigh Wood [25(15)-2] would defend his title against his mandatory challenger in Nottingham on March 12.

Earlier in the year, the brothers claimed the British coach lacked belief in the champion, suggesting the young trainer backed Reece Mould to beat Wood when they meet for the British featherweight title in early 2021.

“You didn’t believe he’d win the Reece Mould fight. You don’t believe in your fighter. You believe in his power but you don’t believe in him as a fighter,” Micheal Conlan said.

Jamie Conlan added: “You told people in Sky Reece Mould was going to win. You told Sky Leigh wouldn’t be able to adapt to his style.”

When Davidson denied the accusation and defended himself, the boxing steeped brothers labeled him a liar with Jamie Conlan saying: ‘everything you say from here on in, is a lie’.

Former world title challenger Jamie Conlan, who now manages his brother, argues the revelation planted a seed of doubt in Wood’s mind creating a conflict that would not be conducive to a good camp.

“Subconsciously we have created a conflict between coach and fighter,” Conlan said.

“Everything I said was the truth, there were no lies,” he affirms before suggesting he enjoyed unsettling Davidson.

“We had been picking up wee comments and things that had been said disrespecting Michael. There is building the fight, but sometimes coaches can get lost between what they really are coach, pundit, Twitter troll, so that’s what we got into.”

Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan Press Conference to announce their WBA Featherweight World Title fight in Nottingham on 12th March 2022. 20 January 2022 Picture By Mark Robinson.

As per the norm, Michael Conlan was a little blunter than his older brother. The Irish half of this week’s Dazn broadcast bill topper accused Davidson of ‘talking sh*t’ and says the champion will have lost faith in his coach.

“The stuff that was said is true. I don’t care what anyone says I know it’s true. It does allow doubt to creep in. His coach didn’t have true belief in him, so now he doesn’t have the same faith in his coach – and lets be honest he does talk sh*t’. He creates enemies for himself, his ego is astronomical. Something deep down inside of Leigh Wood will always tell him his coach doesn’t believe in him.”

Photo Credit Mark Robinson Matchroom

Jonny Stapleton 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: