Michael Conlan – ‘On Saturday Night I Will Be Champion’
On Saturday, May 27, IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez will defend his title against Michael Conlan at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
May 25 saw both fighters meet with the media for the final time before they face off in the ring this weekend. Can Conlan banish the defeat to Wood, or will the dangerous Lopez retain the title he won against Josh Warrington?
The undercard features a 12-round WBC featherweight contest between unbeaten Nick Ball and Ludumo Lamati for the WBC ‘Silver’ featherweight title.
At Thursday’s press conference, this is what the fighters had to say:
“I’m just excited, really excited about Saturday night. I thank Luis for coming to Belfast, I appreciate it, but on Saturday night I will be champion.”
“I have experienced a lot of atmospheres throughout my career now, very mad, crazy atmospheres and Saturday night will be no different. I know how to handle it now.”
“I know he has changed trainers a few times during this training camp and there are probably things going on with him. I don’t think he truly believes that, he is saying it for the cameras and that is ok, no problem.”
“It is a pleasure to have this in Belfast, but I know it doesn’t mean too much because Luis travels well. I believe on Saturday night it will be ‘and the new.”
Luis Alberto Lopez
“I have already beaten up all the prospects and fighters Top Rank have given to me so, on this Saturday night, I want to prove to everyone that I am a true champion and, after beating Michael Conlan.”
“I am used to travelling and this is my third time here in the UK. Everybody wants to see me lose but, don’t forget, I am the world champion.”
“I am going to be taking the victory.”
Michael Conlan enjoyed a brilliant amateur career before racing to a 16-0 record in the professional ranks, before a tough battle ended in a devastating 12-round TKO defeat to Leigh Wood. Conlan has bounced back with two wins out of two since that single career defeat. Lopez has won 27 of his 29 fights, with 15 by knockout. His majority decision points victory over Josh Warrington is undoubtedly the premier highlight of his career thus far.
Lopez is tough and dangerous and will keep walking towards Conlan, meaning the Irish fighter will need to be wary throughout the contest.
Lopez vs. Conlan will be shown on BT Sport in the UK, while ESPN+ will broadcast the event in the US at 2 p.m. ET/ 11 a.m. PT.