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Team Conlan target reluctant Leigh Wood’s ‘best mate’

Team Michael Conlan [16(8)-1(1)] don’t believe Leigh Wood [26(16)-2(1)] wants the immediate rematch, so have suggested fighting his ‘best mate’ instead.

Conlan’s manager and older brother Jamie Conlan revealed the recent world title challenger is determined fight Wood again and an instant repeat is being explored – but isn’t confident it will materialize.

As a result, they are going ahead with plans to have the Belfast featherweight top the Feile in the first week of August and believe they have the ideal backup plan.

Speaking to Andy Waters for the Irish News the Conlan Boxing man suggested a fight with European champion Jordan Gill, a close pal of WBA world regular champion Wood, would fit the bill perfectly.

“We’re looking at Belfast for the first week in August and we’re also exploring the options of a rematch with Wood,” said the former world title challenger.

“There’s been a lot of talk about it over the last few weeks so it’s just about figuring out what’s the right move going forward.

“Michael wants to set the record straight, he would love a rematch but I don’t think Leigh or his coach (Ben Davidson) want a rematch so it all has to play out over the next few weeks but we’re planning Michael’s next move with or without Leigh Wood.

“If we can’t get a rematch we would love to fight his best mate Jordan Gill, the European champion. That’s a great fight.”

Nottingham, UK: Leigh Wood vs Michael Conlan, WBA Featherweight World Title. 13 March 2022 Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

Having pulled out a dramatic late stoppage to retain a title that looked destined for the waist of Conlan in Nottingham in March, most agreed the champion would be wise to avoid a summer rematch.

Wood could explore other big options while keeping a repeat of the Fight of the Year contender in his back pocket for whenever suited best.

However, with IBF featherweight champion and fellow Matchroom fighter Josh Warrington injured it was suggested, that the Brendan Ingle inspired, Ben Davidson trained fighter would have to fight Conlan again if he wanted to fulfill his City Ground Stadium ambitions this summer.

Jamie Conlan certainly agrees with that theory: “If Leigh Wood wants to fight at the City Ground then there only is one dance partner who can sell it out and that’s Michael,” he added.

“Him and Michael in the City Ground, given what they put on in Nottingham Arena, would definitely sell out. It would be unbelievable and they would continue on from where they left off – it would be a fantastic fight. Leigh has earned the right to fight at the City Ground but we can only focus on what the next step is for Michael.”

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 sports for a living for over 20 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

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