Lopez KOs Conlan, retains IBF feather title

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Photo: Conlan Boxing

IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez (28-2, 16 KOs) brutally knocked out Michael “Mick” Conlan (18-2, 9 KOs) in round five to retain his world title on Saturday night a sold-out SSE Arena in Conlan’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Lopez took the fight right at Conlan and got the better of most exchanges. A right uppercut in round five laid out Conlan to end it. Time was 1:14.

Lopez said, “I hope all the world champions at the featherweight division are ready for ‘Venado’ Lopez. I’m coming for all of them. I want all their belts. One by one, I’m taking all their belts with me to Mexico.”

Featherweights: English contender Nick Ball (18-0, 11 KOs) defended his WBC Silver title with a 12th-round TKO win over South Africa’s Ludumo Lamati (21-1-1, 11 KOs). Lamati’s six-inch height advantage posed issues for Ball in the first two rounds of the fight, but by the third and fourth, Ball began closing the distance with ease. Once inside, the 26-year-old landed vicious combinations, and Lamati’s corner stopped the bout in the latter stages of the final round. Lamati was taken out on a stretcher.

Junior Lightweights: Anthony Cacace (21-1, 7 KOs) scored a 12-round unanimous decision win against Polish contender Damian Wrzesinski (26-3-2, 7 KOs). Despite Wrzesinski’s aggression, Cacace’s reach and height advantages allowed him to land harder and more consistently from his southpaw stance. Cacace is now 6-0 since suffering his first loss in 2017 against Martin J Ward. Scores: 118-111, 117-111 and 116-112.

Junior Welterweights: Irish standout Pierce O’Leary (12-0, 7 KOs) defended his WBC International belt with a first-round stoppage over Florin Ciorceri (17-4, 7 KOs). O’Leary dropped Ciorceri with a left hook, then finished things up with a savage follow-up attack. Time of stoppage: 1:11.

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  • Pretty clear now, Conlan doesn’t have the mental strength to be a champion. Once he starts getting hit, he just mentally falls apart. Physically, he has all the gifts. Kind of a waste.

  • The crazy thing is that Lopez was throwing so many hard uppercuts. And what did Conlan start doing? Ducking right into the uppercuts, over and over, until one knocked him out. That just shows his mind isn’t right under pressure.

  • Some people can’t carry their superiority into the pros when they switch. Conlan is one of them.

  • Lopez has a weird but effective style. He has bad balance, his is chin up in the air and throws punches without being set, yet he makes it all work. Why fix it? Congrats.

    • I thought same thing . Very novice type style but he got the ko here..better fighter destroys him though..he reminds me of featherweight version of Mayorga

  • Not sure what fight the writer was watching but Conlan took it to champion getting the better first 3 rounds ..even had him in corner and you thought the champion was quitting in an exchange ..was not impressed with champs style and technique but it seems that Conlan has either an anxiety issue which drains him or no chin

  • Conlan really has nowhere to go now it seems. The Wood fight has stolen his mental and physical prime ala Meldrick Taylor

  • I really thought, after last week’s Irish boxing disaster weekend, and in his home in Belfast, Conlan would have really gone for it. He looked like he mentally quit after a couple of rounds. So weird.

  • The announcers for this fight were terrible. They have no clue what’s happening in the fight that taking place right in front of their faces. Conlan was getting beaten and rocked all round in the 4th and they never even said Conlan looks hurt or is getting his getting beat in. Like once during the round they said “some good shot from Lopez”.

    How do these people get their jobs? How does someone like Paulie Malignaggi not have a job and gets fired from Showtime for calling out Devin Haney being racist and saying “I’ll never let a white boy beat me”? Malignaggi is one of the most intelligent and entertaining boxing commentators around today and he can’t get a job but people like this girl and guy that called the fight today have no problem finding a job.

    Ariel Helwani is a complete moron and has the charisma of deaf mute and yet DAZN hires him but Malignaggi is blacklisted from boxing.

    Why does everyone involved in boxing from the promoters, the refs, judges, commentators and even most of the fighters hate boxing and boxing fans? They literally do everything they can to ruin boxing, make sure great fights never happen, ruin fights that actually do happen with bad decisions or stoppages etc?

    Enough is enough.

    • Chrystina Poncher and Jamel Herring are paid by Top Rank to be bias towards their commodities. Same thing goes for Joe Tessitore and Tim Bradley who do the same thing nearly every week but are much worse. Andre Ward tries to keep it down the middle but gets overtalked by those two.

      Paulie Malignaggi currently announces for promoter Garry Jonas who has a fight series streamed on their website ProBoxTV. They have cards every 2-4 weeks.

      • Andre is more biased than Tim in my opinion. Boxing commentary overall is absolutely horrible. They don’t analyze a fight or even coment on what’s actually transpiring in the ring. They just over exaggerate everything the network fighter does and minimize everything the ‘opponent’ does.

        The world we live in has lost all integrity. Boxing is one example. How many times have you seen the more marketable/undefeated fighter struggle and look mediocre against a handpicked opponent and yet the commentators are telling you how great he looks and why the opponent is ineffective and the fight which honestly could be 5 to 4 and 1 rd even for either fighter is scored 100 to 90 for the house fighter. It’s really bad.

        And I agree that woman somehow managed to sound like a cackling hen without any actual enthusiasm.

    • Funny thing is a prime Malignaggi (one that fought cotto) beats Haney at 140..

      • Are you drinking? Paulie wouldn’t have beat him if he had 4 hands

        • You never seen him in
          His prime then ..cotto was a monster at 140 and after that war, malignaggi elevated …same size as haney , more speed, threw more punches…it be easy decision like he did Juan Diaz, Judah and ndou ..khan and Hatton would have obliterated haney as well..put it thjs way..a past prime Paulie had an even fight with prime broner (broner wasn’t completely gunshy until
          Maidena loss)..malignaggi would move, outwork haney and haney would have nothing to keep him honest..haney would lose to all top 140s 10 years ago

      • Z, Definitely agree on that one. Malignaggi was a superior boxer to Haney and had a beard on him. He just never had any power, but he could out box Haney all day.

      • Not so sure Pauli even competes with Haney and I dislike everything about Haney.

    • Boxing has been infected with the mob mentality as well. If you don’t follow the script, you can’t play with the group. It’s everywhere.

      • This is so accurate. It’s really bad. Who ever controls the media controls the story and therefore controls the mob mindset.

    • Jay agree about Paulie excellent commentator… analysis on point…

    • I miss HBO 🙁
      Merchant, Lewis, Foreman, Steward, Lampley, Kellerman and Lederman. They were the real deal!

  • Great win, I thought later round stoppage but he got him out of there early. Lopez is starting to look like a beast and certainly loves going overseas to knock people out

  • Lopez strength, power and awkward style was too much for Conlan who took a lot of punishment in the 4th and 5th rounds. He should take an extended break with his team to consider his future if he is going to continue fight at this level.

  • Lopez does a lot of things wrong but lands his punches anyway and from a variety of angles. He is often off-balance, throws his punches off the wrong foot and brings his uppercuts up from his thigh. However, he landed that uppercut repeatedly after the first three rounds.

    Conlan held his own in the first three rounds but he really doesn’t punch hard enough to keep a puncher like Lopez from getting at him. Even when he thought he was out of range, Lopez was able to land shots with power on them. He did especially well in the first two rounds, but Lopez was not discouraged and kept throwing.

    I saw Lopez maul Gabriel Flores, Jr. and he seems to be even better in his fights since then. It will take a real puncher who can take a punch to slow down the Lopez train. So far, nobody has been able to do it.

    Lopez reminds me of Julio Cesar Martinez in his reckless attacking style, just a slightly bigger version of him. It took a Chocolatito to tame Martinez. I don’t see anyone in the featherweight division who can do the same to Lopez. Great win for him and the end as a contender for Conlan.

    • Fighters like Lopez fun to watch…..may not be technically sound but sticks to the simple rules of boxing….have courage.,be first…a avoid getting hit…can get you a win…without much talent..being a power punches is a plus…

  • Christina Ponchard and Jermelle Herring were the absolute worst broadcasters I’ve have heard in 45 years of watching boxing. My guess, they had to much Nyquil. Christina has NO KNOWLEDGE OF BOXING. They simply commentated on who threw what kind of punches. They sucked. No emotion in their commentating. Unbelievable bad.

  • That was tough to watch as I’ve been rooting for Mick since before the olympics. I thought he would be a very marketable champ for sure.

    To be a great boxer, you typically need a good amature background, BUT, you also need be make the switch in styles. Conlan has all the tools but can’t seem to get it together. If it’s a chin issue, he’s is definitely using the wrong style of fighting, but it might be too late to change things around.

    Still wish him the best and that he irons out his confidence issues.

  • Conlan has been overrated from day one. By and large he was fairly protected. I mean, his most dangerous opponents were Baluta and Mariaga… mariaga hasn’t been a real contender in about 5 years and Baluta is tough but is he even ranked in the top 20? Conlan has barely had 20 fights but he’s had 2 shots at a world title that he’s lost miserably.

  • Impressive victory for lopez. I like to see sometimes the guy coming in and fighting his fight with no effect from the crowd. It does make me wonder sometimes why they invest so much time in the feature stories like they do on Conlan when it is clear he may only be a contender but as the house fighter he gets all the attention. Then he gets smoked by Lopez. Embarrasing to overload praise on someone and feature stories but I guess someone has to win & lose. I always felt there is a disadvantage if you cannot have at least “average” power level to keep opponents honest. The exception is if you are a master defensive boxer. Conlan proved to me he is a “good” defensive fighter but not “great”-he just can’t withstand the pressure from top level fighters on a consistent basis.

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