British boxing is throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks this afternoon (Sat., May 27, 2023), and while we can’t quite cover everything, some fan-friendly scheduling means we can at least cover the two biggest fights of the weekend: Luis Alberto Lopez’s IBF Featherweight title defense against Michael Conlan and Mauricio Lara’s rematch with Leigh Wood.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE coverage of both main events. Lopez and Conlan are expected to make the walk around 4 p.m. ET on ESPN+ (watch it here), with Lara and Wood squaring off closer to 5 p.m. ET on DAZN.
After scoring a lengthy string of upsets, Lopez became the latest Mexican slugger to flip the script in Britain by gritting out a majority decision over the headbutt-happy Josh Warrington in Dec. 2022. Lara preceded him in these efforts by smashing Warrington in 2021, then claimed his first world title with a come-from-behind wipeout of Wood in Feb. 2023.
He wound up losing that title on the scales, but Wood remains eligible to win it.
Mauricio Lara vs. Leigh Wood
Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Michael Conlan — Lopez def. Conlan by TKO at 1:14 of Round Five — HIGHLIGHTS
WBA Featherweight Championship: Mauricio Lara vs. Leigh Wood
Round one: Early counter hook from Lara as Wood steadily pushes forward. Surprisingly slow start, Wood tentatively reaching with his jab. Halfway through. Quick exchange, neither connects. Long shovel hook from Lara. Lara lands a counter right, both attack the body afterwards. Things soon slow back down. Wood body jab and counter right. Lara tries to rush, gets clinched. 10-9 Lara.
Round two: Lara goes low-high, eats a jab to the body, comes back with a counter right. They collide and Lara connects with a left hook before an awkward turn trips Lara up. Solid jabs from Wood when they resume. Heavy jab catches Lara stepping in. Lara wades in with body shots, clinch. Good combo from Wood in the center halfway through. Subsequent volleys blocked. Clinch. Wood 1-2, nice jab. He follows the next left with a hard uppercut that sends Lara to the mat. Lara bates the count comfortably and comes out guns blazing. Wood plunks him with one more counter right before the bell. 10-8, 19-18 Wood.
Round three: Wood lands a good right and eats a headbutt for his trouble. Lara connects with a short left hook when Wood next clinches. Nasty lead right from Wood and a left hook behind it. Wood looking great in the early going, absorbs a pair of body shots. Lara just not active enough. Hard right cross from Wood dings Lara, who comes back with body shots halfway through the round. Nice exchanges in the center. Wood jabs the body after a lull. Lara goes low-high with a right-left. Good body work. 10-9, 29-27 Wood.
Round four: Fairly slow opening minute. Good exchange, body shots land for Lara. Wood left hook, clinch. More body shots from Lara. Wood sends out some jabs, clinch. Slow third minute s well. They swing in the center, then trade on the ropes. 10-9 Lara, 38-37 Wood.
Round five: Wood patiently advancing behind the jab. Lara tries to punch his way off the ropes and walks into some heavy jabs. Lara to the body, missing on the big looping shots. Jab exchange, up-jab from Lara, body shot. Halfway through. More jabs from Wood, who’s sporting a cut around the left eye. Combination lands for Lara in the center. Another long left hook. Fast exchange near the ropes, Lara can’t quite connect. Sharp lead right by Wood. Lara tries to charge in the final seconds. 10-9, 48-46 Wood.
Round six: Another early standoff, neither man pulling the trigger. Body shot from Lara, who eats another stiff jab from Wood. Wood follows with a sharp hook and body jab. Both attack the body near the ropes. Halfway through. Jab and body shot by Lara, clinch. Lara again goes to the body and they trade on the ropes. Wood lead right. More jabs from Wood. Heavy one from Lara in return. Lara comes on strong in the last 10 seconds. 10-9 Lara, 57-56 Wood.
IBF Featherweight championship: Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Michael Conlan
Round one: Conlan comes out southpaw, targeting the body early. Solid combination work, mixing it up high and low. Lopez picks it up a bit a minute in, landing his own body shots. High volume from Conlan, avoiding most of what comes back his way halfway through. Four lefts from Conlan. Lopez backs him to the corner, lands a solid right hand and uppercut before getting clinched. Lunging combination lands for Lopez, Conlan ties up soon after. More good high-low mixups from Conlan. Heavy overhand lefts with 10 seconds to go. 10-9 Conlan.
Round two: Lopez looking to push forward, finding some body shots. Nice exchanges kicked off by an overhand left from Conlan. Trading body shots. Lopez backs him near the ropes and lets a combo go. Conlan comes back with uppercuts. Great action so far halfway through the round, Conlan showing quality defense and volume. Clubbing right hook after backing Lopez to the corner. More potshots from Conlan as Lopez launches looping volleys. 2-1 from Lopez dings Conlan, who loops a left around the guard. Conlan backs him to the ropes and fires combinations. ESPN+ breaks at the 10-second mark, so assuming nothing crazy happened, 10-9, 20-18 Conlan.
Round three: Lopez lands some clubbing shots in the early going. Conlan continuing to match him blow for blow. Nice body shots from both. Lopez backs him off with a 2-1 and bangs the body against the ropes. Conlan comes back with sharp body work and left hands upstairs. Halfway through. More body work by Conlan, then a left upstairs that Lopez answers with a flurry. Lopez looks invigorated and he bullies Conlan to the ropes, launching a lengthy volley to the head and body. Lopez finding the mark on a somewhat stationary Conlan, who ties up in response. Trading in center ring. Good body shot by Conlan. 10-9 Lopez, 29-28 Conlan.
Round four: Lopez has really found his groove, pursuing Conlan across the ring with heavy shots. Conlan still answering with combos of his own. Lopez getting the better of it. Charging hook by Lopez, who absorbs an uppercut and throws back with a smile. Halfway through. Trading at close range, clinch. Uppercut to chopping left by Lopez that prompts a clinch. Nasty body shot that Conlan answers with an overhand left. There goes the ESPN+ feed again. It doesn’t come back until after the round. Based on what was happening, 10-9 Lopez, 38-38.
Round five: Lopez in full control, marching after a game Conlan. Hard body shots. They trade some hard shots near the ropes, then Lopez hurls a monster uppercut that completely short-circuits Conlan. “Mick” teeters slow-mo to the mat and the towel comes flying in.
Final result: Lopez def. Conlan by TKO
For more on “Lopez vs. Conlan,” “Wood vs. Lara 2,” and other boxing-related events, click here.