Top Rank on ESPN: Lopez vs. Conlan will be live on ESPN+ this Saturday, May 27 at 1:30 p.m. ET / 10:30 a.m. PT exclusively in the U.S.. The event takes place at SSE Arena Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.
Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez (27-2, 15 KOs) will make the first defense of his IBF featherweight world title against Belfast’s own Michael “Mick” Conlan (18-1, 9 KOs).
Lopez, from Mexicali, Mexico, thrilled American fight fans with his July 2020 split decision victory over Andy Vences inside the MGM Grand Bubble. Fourteen months later, he dominated then-unbeaten junior lightweight prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. Lopez then moved down to featherweight and stopped another undefeated foe, Isaac Lowe, in seven rounds at London’s York Hall. After two stay-busy wins, Lopez received his shot at the title, defeating Josh Warrington in enemy territory in Leeds, England. He now intends to defend it in Belfast.
Conlan turned pro in 2017 after a decorated Irish amateur career that included an Olympic bronze medal, and gold medals at the World Championships, European Championships, and Commonwealth Games. Last March, he nearly captured the WBA featherweight crown from Leigh Wood in Wood’s hometown of Nottingham, England. Conlan, ahead on all three scorecards, was knocked out in the 12th round of ESPN’s Fight of the Year. The Wood disappointment did not linger as Conlan came back later that year with victories over Miguel Marriaga and Karim Guerfi at the SSE Arena, the same venue where he intends to seize his championship moment.
THE QUEENSBERRY TRIO of Anthony Cacace, Nick Ball and Pierce O’Leary are all in title action on Saturday May 27 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, live on BT Sport.
Promoted by Conlan Boxing, in association with Top Rank and Queensberry Promotions, the event will see Belfast boy Michael Conlan challenge for the IBF world featherweight championship against the title holder Luis Alberto Lopez, who last fought on British soil when he defeated former champion Josh Warrington in Leeds last year.
The IBO world featherweight champion Cacace, also hailing from Belfast, makes a first defence of the title he won by overcoming Michael Magnesi at the Manchester Arena last September. The 20-1 (7 KOs) man known as the Apache takes on the Pole, IBO International champion Damian Wrzesinski, who holds a record of 26-2-2 (7 KOs).
Wrzesinski, 35, a multi-time national title holder, won his IBO championship with a win over Artjoms Ramlavs in October 2022.
Liverpool favourite Ball, 17-0 (10 KOs) takes on an unbeaten challenger for his WBC Silver featherweight title in the South African Ludumo Lamati, 21-0-1 (11 KOs).
Ball, 26, enjoyed a highly productive 2022 that encompassed a win-treble of victories over Isaac Lowe, Nathanael Kakololo and Jesus Ramirez Rubio. All three were stopped by the hugely popular ‘Wrecking’ Ball, who is increasingly becoming a must-see attraction on Queensberry shows.
Lamati, 30, became IBO world super bantamweight champion in June 2021 with victory over Jose Martin Estrada Garcia, having won the IBF Intercontinental title in July 2019.
The WBC International super lightweight champion O’Leary, 11-0 (6 KOs), defends his belt against the Romanian Alin Florin Ciorceri, 17-3 (7 KOs). The Dubliner, 23, won the title with a convincing points win over Emmanuel Mungandjela at The O2 in November of last year.
Also featuring on the card is top Queensberry prospects Willo Hayden (5-0, 1 KO), the Dublin lightweight, along with Liverpool super lightweight Callum Thompson (6-0, 1 KO). Hayden will fight over six rounds and Thompson over four.
“We took this opportunity through our friends and colleagues at Top Rank to secure a top quality world title fight for BT Sport viewers involving local hero Michael Conlan,” said Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren.
“The added incentive was getting five BT Sport favourites from the Queensberry ranks onto the card and three of them being Irish fighters in Anto Cacace, Pierce O’Leary and Willo Hayden, who will all relish the occasion of performing in front of a packed house in Belfast.
“Then there is our demolition man, Nick Ball, who wants to impress and throw down the gauntlet to the winner out of Conlan and Lopez. The Liverpool contingent is doubled by our hugely promising super lightweight Callum Thompson, who I am also looking forward to seeing back in action.”
Belfast’s unbeaten super middleweight star Pody McCrory (16-0, 9 KOs) features in 10-round action, alongside top prospects from the city in super flyweight Conor Quinn (5-0-1, 4 KOs) and featherweight Kurt Walker (5-0, 1 KO), both fighting over eight rounds.
Lightweight Feargus Quinn (5-0, 2 KOs) from Belleek and welterweight Kieran Molloy (5-0, 1 KO) from Galway will fight over six rounds, with welterweight James Freeman from Armagh making his professional debut over four rounds.
Lopez – Conlan Fight Card
(ESPN+, 1:30 P.M. ET/10:30 a.m. PT)
• Luis Alberto Lopez 125.5 lbs. vs. Michael Conlan 125.9 lbs
(Lopez’s IBF Featherweight World Title — 12 Rounds)
• Nick Ball 125.9 lbs vs. Ludumo Lamatii 125.5 lbs
(Ball’s WBC Silver Featherweight Title — 12 Rounds)
• Anthony Cacace 129.9 lbs vs. Damian Wrzesinski 129.4 lbs
(Junior Lightweight — 12 Rounds)
• Pierce O’Leary 139.3 lbs vs. Alin Florin Ciorcerii 140 lbs
(O’Leary’s WBC International Junior Welterweight Title — 10 Rounds)