Likely venue and date emerge for Michael Conlan – Luis Lopez world title challenge

Michael Conlan [18(9)-1(1)] is very close to confirming a world title fight for Belfast this summer.

Conlan Boxing have been in talks with IBF featherweight world champion Luis Lopez [27(15)-2(0)] since the Olympic medal winner stopped Karim Guerfi at the SSE Arena in December – and both camps have been sharing positive vibes with regard to an all-Top Rank world title fight since the turn of the year.

It’s now believed a deal in principle has been agreed and the champion will come to Belfast to defend his title on May 27.

Speaking to Belfast Live, former world title challenger and Conlan Boxing bossman, Jamie Conlan confirmed it is full steam ahead for the fight capital of Ireland. Indeed, he revealed an official announcement is edging closer every day and is just pending some contract fine-tuning.

“Talks are still ongoing. We are hoping to have some kind of direction on how things are moving in the next week to 10 days,” Conlan said.

“But Lopez is where our thoughts are and what our preparations are going into. May 27 has been floated around as the date we are targeting.

“Lopez is a tough fight. He is very, very good. His punch output is high and he hits hard enough to hurt you.

“It is a tough fight but one I am very confident Michael will win. The talks have been encouraging so far and everything is moving in the right direction.

“And everyone is happy about bringing the fight here, we are all on the same wavelength in terms of what needs to be done.

“It is just about small things that need to be ironed out. We looked at options including chief support for Lomachenko vs Haney. That stalled so we looked closer to home and checked what available we had with the SSE.

“So we are blowing in the right direction and it is exciting. To bring a big world title fight here hasn’t been done in a long time.

“And with Katie Taylor also fighting in Ireland the week before it promises to be a massive week for boxing.”

If Conlan versus Lopez was made for May 27 it would mean a massive few weeks for Irish boxing with two huge world title fights just seven days apart.

Lopez has no issue traveling, ‘El Venado’ used his passport to go to the UK and dethrone former Carl Frampton foe, Warrington, he also beat Isac Lowe in Britain and holds a win over former Jono Caroll dance partner Andy Vences in America. It’s a solid resume and one Conlan claims stands up.

“He is a fantastic world champion,” adds the older of the two boxing Conlan brothers said previously.

“He’s a tough night’s work. He is awkward, hard to prepare for, unorthodox, he throws punches from range and he’s heavy-handed from the first bell to the last. He starts really fast and it’s a dangerous fight.

“Stylistically for Michael, it’s a really tough fight but there are no easy fights for titles. Obviously all the talk last year after Michael and Leigh Wood was a rematch but it never materialised and this is the route that has been presented to us now.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years