Luis Alberto Lopez (28-2, 15 KOs) once again hit the road for a fight and emerged victorious, defending his IBF featherweight title in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Lopez knocked out Olympic bronze medalist Michael Conlan (18-2, 9 KOs) in 1:13 of round five.
The bout capped the Queensberry Promotions/Top Rank Boxing main event in front of a huge home crowd for Conlan,
The fight began at a furious pace, with both throwing a high volume of punches and landing flush. Both fighters had success in the first two rounds, but despite landing hard punches they could not stun each other. Things changed in the third round as Lopez stunned Conlan with at least one minute remaining in the round. Conlan went on the retreat but appeared to recover, making it to the end of the round.
Beginning in round four, Conlan began sticking to the jab and staying on the outside. He made a temporary switch to orthodox before going back to southpaw, the stance he used for most of the bout.
Round five began with Conlan continuing to stay on the outside and utilizing his jab. However, he was unable to withstand the firepower of Lopez. With nearly two minutes left in the round. Lopez landed a right hook that left Conlan on the canvas for several minutes. Conlan’s corner immediately threw in the towel, giving Lopez yet another victory on rival soil.
It was Lopez’s first successful defense of his world title which he won in December in Leeds against Josh Warrington. Lopez won that fight by majority decision as one judge scored the contest a 114-114 draw and the remaining judges had it 115-113. The fight with Conlan was Lopez’s third in the UK, having fought Warrington in December and Isaac Lowe in late 2021. Following the Warrington fight, Lopez changed trainers and began working with Kay Koroma. The Conlan fight was their first time together in a professional bout and it proved to be a success.
Main Event Delay
The main event was slightly delayed as Ludumo Lamati had to be stretchered away and driven to the hospital. Lamati’s corner had thrown in the towel in the twelfth round of his bout with Nick Ball. Shortly after the conclusion of the fight, Lamati collapsed in his corner and immediately received medical attention before being taken to the hospital. Once it was confirmed that the ambulance had reached, Lopez and Conlan made their ringwalks.