Featherweights Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan put on an absolute masterclass in their meeting in March.
The English and Irishman went toe-to-toe to an all-out war at Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England. Wood walked away with the win on the back of a gruesome knockout.
The action got spicy from the very first round when southpaw Conlan scored a brutal knockdown. He was early to impose his boxing skills on Wood in the opening minutes.
At one point, it seemed like Conlan would power his way to another win to keep his undefeated record intact. He bossed the champion around in the first two rounds, however, Wood began to turn the table on his opponent as the rounds passes by.
Conlan’s energy began to fade, and Wood upped the pace after sensing his opponent’s speed getting slower with time.
In the 11th round, Wood sent Conlan to the floor. Conlan got back up, but the viewers already knew the outcome of the fight since Conlan had nothing left in his tank by that point.
He was then sent back to the floor — this time headfirst in the 12th round to complete their Fight of the Year-level slugfest.
— BoxingVibe (@boxingvibe) March 12, 2022
Wood’s monstrous knockout blow in the final minutes helped him retain his WBA (Regular) featherweight title.
Months after he rallied to a famous win in front of his home crowd, the Nottingham star was named the sole featherweight WBA world champion by the sanctioning body.
This decision was made in the wake of the fighter’s futile attempts to box Leo Santa Cruz, the former ‘super’ champion. Cruz won the belt in 2015, but he has held it since.
“Leigh Wood is the only featherweight champion by the World Boxing Association (WBA) after the Super Champion, Leo Santa Cruz, relinquished the title on Monday, the same day the purse bid was scheduled to take place,” the sanctioning body stated in May.
“The pioneer organization had approved the fight between both 126 lbs. champions and the bidding would be held during the Centennial Convention in Orlando, Florida. However, the Mexican team informed that he would relinquish his belt, leaving the British fighter as the only champion of the division.”
Matchroom Boxing chairman Eddie Hearn is adamant to book the Cruz vs Wood fight though.
The veteran promoter is eager to host the super fight in January in England. There are reportedly talks going on between both teams to settle on the purse sharing.