Extension Granted – WBA give Michael Conlan and Leigh Wood more time to agree terms

Matchroom and Conlan Boxing have been given extra time to reach a deal for the WBA ordered Michael Conlan versus Leigh Wood world title eliminator.

The World Boxing Association confirmed in late August they had ordered Wood to defend his WBA ‘regular’ world title against the Belfast fighter – and they had given both parties until September 27 to agree on terms.

A deal couldn’t be struck by the deadline and purse bids loomed until the WBA granted an extension reports Jake Donovan of Boxingscene.

A new deadline date wasn’t revealed but the WBA revealed the granted a request for more negotiating time, which suggests some form of agreement may be close.

Irish-boxing.com understands Conlan Boxing, headed up by former world title challenger Jamie Conlan, want to bring the fight to Belfast and the SSE Arena in December – and it appears that’s the stance they have taken in negotiations.

It also appears Matchroom have their own plans for the fight for the right to challenge WBA featherweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz hence the impasse.

However, a compromise may be close and if common ground can’t be reached purse bids will be called.

If purse bids are called the winning bid will be split 55/45 in favor of England’s Wood, who won the WBA ‘regular’ world title by stopping China’s Xu Can in late July.

Conlan impressed against former world champion TJ Doheny at the Feile on August 6 to claim the WBA ‘interim’ title which has been since scrapped.

The winner of the proposed clash will become mandatory for former Carl Frampton foe Santa Cruz the current champion.

However, considering the American ‘Super’ champ hasn’t defended the title since February of 2019 and has since fought up at super feather – his last fight a heavy knockout defeat suffered at the gloves of Gervonta Davis nearly a year ago – it’s quite possible he may vacate or be stripped. Indeed, he may have outgrown the weight or feel he is beyond mandatory defences, which could lead to Conlan v Wood being upgraded to the main world title fight.

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