In pursuit of his first world championship, Michael Conlan describes his Saturday battle in Belfast against Luis Alberto Lopez as “simply another fight.”
Conlan will be fighting for the second time in his professional career, having narrowly lost to Leigh Wood in March 2022. Lopez of Mexico won the IBF featherweight championship in Leeds in December by defeating Josh Warrington.
Conlan, 31, said, “I feel I will go out and win – and win comfortably. It’s going to be hard at times. My feelings are calm and collected. I am awaiting it. The evening is going to be fantastic.”
Lopez hopes to defend his championship at the SSE Arena in Belfast after defeating Warrington in his hometown of Leeds.
Conlan has defeated the Colombian Miguel Marriaga and the Frenchman Karim Guerfi to put himself back in the running for the WBA “Regular” featherweight championship after losing to Wood in the title fight last year. Conlan claims he has learnt from the Wood loss and his following victories. He also says he doesn’t feel any different going into his attempt to capture the world championship in front of his home crowd.
He admitted to BBC Sport that he has “experienced big evenings and enormous atmospheres many times.” “I failed many crucial situations where I was under a lot of pressure. I stressed myself out. I sort of absorbed the negative energy but I’ve learnt from it all, and now we go on to this one. It all comes from experience, from having to endure those kinds of battles and conflicts, and from witnessing many things.”
“Fighting here is unique. The support is always appreciated, and I’m honoured.”