Hearn: ‘SUPER’ world title will be on the line when Conlan challenges Wood

Eddie Hearn believes Leigh Wood [25(15)-2(1)] will be upgraded to ‘super’ champion before his March defence against Michael Conlan [16(8)-0]

Wood became WBA ‘regular’ featherweight champ when he defeated Xu Can at the Matchroom Fight Camp during lockdown last July. Former Carl Frampton foe Leo Santa Cruz is ‘super’ champ at 126lbs and thus deemed the organization’s main man, but he hasn’t defended his title or fought at the weight since 2019.

As a result, Hearn believes the Mexican American will be stripped and the Nottingham bound March 12 Irish versus English clash will be upgraded to a ‘super’ world title fight, meaning Conlan could become a bonafide world champ in his 17th fight.

The Matchroom boss also suggests the winner could be destined for immediate unification action and could trade leather with the victor of Kiko Martinez’s IBF defence against Josh Warrington, which is also set for DAZN and March.

“I expect this fight to be for the ‘super’ championships and the winner to go on and unify against the winner of Martinez Warrington as well,” Hearn said.

“It’s a massive night in the career of both, the atmosphere will be sensational and the fight will be a cracker,”he adds before billing it as a genuine 50-50 clash.

“For me, it’s one of the standout fights of the schedule for many reasons. It’s a 50-50, it’s Nottingham against Belfast, it’s just a brilliant domestic world level fight.

“Mick Conlan is a great fighter, great personality. Has he got the ability to go on and beat Leigh Wood who is in the prime of his career, especially mentally under Ben Davidson? [Wood] really fancies this opportunity and I’m really pleased to give it to him in Nottingham.

“That being said I do expect it to be a 50-50 split between Belfast, Ireland, and Nottingham. The atmosphere is going to be special you’re going to have two to four thousand Irish in there and the rest is going to be Nottingham and English fans, it’s going to be a terrific fight as well.”

With a special atmosphere and high stakes, Hearn is adamant the fight can’t but ignite. The tactical battle between Adam Booth and Ben Davidson may be made irrelevant because you can’t have a chess match in a cauldron, suggests the DAZN aligned promoter.

“I think there is so much on the line and the atmosphere will be so raucous I think it will explode into a great fight. Neither guy can afford to try nick this fight, neither guy can try and be too clever in this fight and the atmosphere will make them get stuck in.”

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