Leigh Wood vs Michael Conlan Preview March 12th, 2022
WBA Featherweight Champion Leigh Wood will be defending his title for the first time this Saturday, March 12th when he takes on unbeaten Michael Conlan of Belfast, Northern Ireland in his hometown of Nottingham, England. Wood took the title in July with a 12th-round TKO of Can Xu (Xu Can) of China. Conlan last fought in August when he beat TJ Doheny via a 12-round unanimous decision for the vacant WBA interim World Featherweight title. This weekend’s 12 round bout can be seen live in most nations on DAZN.
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Wood vs Conlan Betting Odds
- Leigh Wood +145
- Michael Conlan -175
The 33-year-old Wood enters the ring with a record of 25-2 with 15 Kos. He made his pro debut in 2011 after a good amateur career and has boxed 132 rounds since. He’s also captured the British, British Midlands, Commonwealth Boxing Council, and WBO European Featherweight Titles along the way. His first loss was a a sixth-round TKO at the hands of Gavin McDonnell in 2015 for the vacant British Super Bantamweight title.
Wood’s second defeat came at the hands of James Dickens for the WBO European Featherweight Title in February, 2020 via a 10-round majority decision. His biggest wins have been over Can Xu and the likes of Isaac Owusu, Josh Gale, Lee Glover, Ryan Doyle, David Joyce and Reece Mould. Wood has decent power with a current knockout ratio of 55.6 per cent. However, 14 of his 27 opponents have had losing records. Wood stands 5-feet-7-inches tall with a 67-inch wingspan.
The 30-year-old Conlan carries around a perfect record of 16-0 with 8 Kos. He enjoyed a fine amateur career as he participated in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and was a quarter finalist at the 2011 European Championships and 2011 World Amateur Championships. He won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and a silver medal at the 2013 European Championships. He reached the final eight of the 2013 World Amateur Championships.
He then won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and both the 2015 European Championships and World Amateur Championships before participating in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Conlan also fought in the World Series of Boxing from 2012 to 2015. As an amateur, Conlan lost to Andrew Selby three times as well as Jason Moloney, Robeisy Ramirez and Vladimir Nikitin (twice) and beat the likes of Khalid Yafai, Nordine Oubaali (twice), Jose Diaz and Murodjon Akhmadaliev.
Conlan turned pro back in 2017 and has 115 rounds of experience since. He stands 5-feet-8-inches tall with a 69-inch reach and has decent power with a current knockout ratio of 50 per cent. This gives him a one-inch height and two-inch reach advantage over Wood. Since turning pro he’s also captured the vacant WBO Inter-Continental, and vacant WBA Inter-Continental Featherweight Titles as well as the WBO Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight Crown.
Conlan has fine boxing skills and can also switch to southpaw at times and be just as effective. He’s not the biggest puncher in the division and has gone the distance in five of his last seven fights. Conlan’s still learning the ropes as a pro and hasn’t faced a top contender as of yet with his biggest wins coming over the likes of Doheny, Ionut Baluta, Sofiane Takoucht, Kenny Guzman, David Berna, Jason Cunningham, Ruben Garcia Hernandez and Diego Alberto Ruiz. He also avenged his controversial amateur defeats to Nikitin.
Wood surprised a lot of people with his excellent performance against Xu in his first test against an upper-echelon boxer and the question is if he can replicate it against Conlan, who hasn’t really lived up to all the hype so far in his pro career. Conlan has basically fought to the level of his opponents so far and he’ll need to bring his A game if he hopes to beat Wood. Finally, fans will hopefully see just how good Conlan is this weekend. He’s the better boxer overall and should be able to pull it off in a close contest.
Conlan finally lives up to his potential.
Play: Conlan -175 @ BetOnline.ag
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