‘I’ll announce it’ – Mischievous Michael Conlan says Wood fight is ‘done’ – details incoming

Michael Conlan [16(8)-0] says he will reveal all very very soon.

The finer details of the Olympic medal winner’s mandated WBA ‘regular’ world title fight with Leigh Wood [25(15)-2(1)] have finally been agreed – and the Belfast fighter is on the verge of sharing the specifics.

There has been constant chatter and gossip – particularly surrounding the venue – with regard to this world title eliminator since the WBA mandated it earlier in the year.

At one stage, Belfast and December looked very likely but an injury to the Nottingham fighter put paid to any hopes of that. New York and Paddy’s Day was muted once Eddie Hearn won purse bids and last week the Matchroom boss suggested Manchester was the front runner.

Speaking to Irish-boxing.com after officially confirming Conlan Boxing have added Kieran Molloy to their roster, the Adam Booth-trained talent revealed everything has been agreed. Conlan knows where and when the fight will take place and by all accounts, everyone else will very soon.

“The fight is done,” he said before a cheeky smile decorated his face.

“Watch, I’ll announce it soon. I’ll announce it very soon. I’ll beat all them to it.”

The Top Rank fighter wouldn’t be drawn further but it was there was more than a mischievous tone to his comments.

Rumour suggests there was tension surrounding venue choice with Matchroom happy to concede Belfast made sense financially – but MTK, who manage Wood, are unwilling to allow their man travel to Conlan territory. The grapevine had the Odyssey booked for March 12, only for MTK to object and push for an alternative city.

Again, the World Championship gold medal winner wouldn’t comment on negotiations – but when discussing how he sees the fight going, he gave a hint to where it might be going.

“I know 100 percent I’m going to win,” he adds in a relaxed fashion.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tough fight. Leigh Wood is a bigger puncher, but that’s not a problem to me. I fought punchers all through my career and every style going in both the amateurs and pros. I beat Leigh Wood 100 percent, no doubt in my mind. If I need to go into his back garden and beat him up, no problem. I’ll punch the f*ck out of him in his hometown for 12 rounds.

“I’m really excited about the fight and I’m looking forward to it.”

Conlan also hinted the fight may still be upgraded to a ‘super’ WBA world title fight. Leo Santa Cruz is reigning ‘super’ featherweight champion but hasn’t defended the title since February of 2019 prompting suggested he might be stripped and the Conlan v Wood fight would be upgraded as a result.

The WBA confirmed this week that the Mexican American, who twice fought Carl Frampton, will remain champion and will be given time to make a defence. However, Conlan isn’t sure the four-weight world champ will ever make featherweight again.

“It doesn’t bother me what belt is on the line at this stage. The fight is locked in so I’ve to beat the guy in front of me. Leigh probably could have upgraded after the Can Xu fight but it hasn’t happened yet. In saying that will Leo ever fight at featherweight again? I don’t know. All I’ll say is don’t be surprised if it’s upgraded to ‘super’ title.”

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