No Back-Up Plan – Conlan won’t be Wood’s cash-out

Michael Conlan [16(8)-1(1)] says he won’t be used as a fallback option for Leigh Wood [28(16)-2(1)] and warns common sense will prevail over his desire to get revenge when it comes to the rematch crunch.

Conlan has actively pursued a return with the WBA regular champion since he suffered defeat to him in a Fight of the Year contender back in March.

However, the Nottingham fighter has rebuffed all advances – even the Top Rank fighter’s offer to help him fulfil his City Ground dream.

The Ben Davison-trained title holder wanted to pursue a fight with ‘super’ champion Leo Santa Cruz and has been vocal about wanting to trade leather with fellow Matchroom fighter Josh Warrington.

However, it appears he will defend against former Warrington defeater Mauricio Lara next month.

Either way, Conlan, who claims Wood wasn’t initially rematch-keen and wonders if he will ever get the chance to avenge his sole career defeat.

The fighter, who returns against three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga in Belfast this weekend, believes Team Wood are keeping the rematch as a fail-safe, a fight they can always go back to if things go wrong.

That probably is the case, as there will always be fan interest in a repeat regardless of what’s on the line, and Olympic medal winner, Conlan will always be hungry for the taste of revenge.

However, the Adam Booth-trained man is adamant the fight has to make career and business sense for him too.

“I don’t know,” he admitted to Ring Magazine.

“It has to make financial sense no matter what and if he’s still a champion and the fight is still big enough… Even if he’s not a champion it still has to make financial sense, because I don’t think he will hold on to the belt for much longer. I think if he fights Santa Cruz, he loses. If it can make sense yes, it can happen. But do I think they want it to happen? Not really. I think they’ll probably use it as a fallback fight if they lose the world title they think they will have the rematch, but it has to make sense for me as well.

“I’m not an idiot but at the same time I know my worth and they know the worth of that fight and if they think it’s a fallback fight where I get paid buttons and he’s going to get paid an alright bit of money, they can go f*** themselves. I want to get it back and I want to win but I’m a business-minded person too, so I’ve got to be smart.”

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