Boxing

Belfast could host Mick Conlan versus Leigh Wood world title fight in December as Jason Quigley lines up shot at 'Boo Boo' belt

Michael Conlan versus Leigh Wood could be scheduled for Belfast in December. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker.
Andy Watters

MICHAEL Conlan's challenge for Leigh Wood's WBA featherweight title could take place in Belfast before the end of the year.

Conlan put himself in pole position to fight the Nottingham champion after his interim title win against TJ Doheny at Falls Park in August which came just a week after Wood won the belt with a career-best performance against China's Can Xu.

Now the pair are on collision course and if Conlan's promoters Top Rank are successful in their bid to host the fight, the SSE Arena will be high on the list as the venue.

“Last week the WBA put the fight out for purse bids to various promoters and everyone has until October 9 to put their bid in,” explained Conlan's manager, elder brother Jamie.

“On October 11, the winning purse bid will be announced and the winner will have until the end of December to schedule the fight.”

During the last three years, Matchroom-promoted Wood has won the British, Commonwealth, European and ultimately the world title. His preference for the venue would be the City Ground – home of his beloved Nottingham Forest FC.

“I believe it's a massive fight and I believe it warrants the City Ground,” he said.

“It would have to be promoted right, it would have to have a good undercard – there are a lot of Nottingham fighters coming through who would love to be on it – but we'll see what happens.

“Let Eddie (Hearn) do his job.”

Wood beat David Oliver Joyce to win the European featherweight title two years ago and says he'd like to add Conlan's scalp to his list. He doesn't regard the west Belfast man as a genuine featherweight.

“He's a great unbeaten fighter,” he said.

“He's an Olympian – I've already beaten one Olympian from Ireland so he will be my second all being well. He's good, he's a good fighter but he's not really a featherweight in my opinion. He's been boxing super-bantamweight for a long time and I'm a fully-fledged, seasoned, big featherweight with a lot of power and I think that could be the telling factor on the night.

“It's a fight I'll win, I'm not saying it'll be an easy fight but you don't get easy fights at this level. That's why it will draw such a big crowd because it's so exciting. It's a fight I'm more that confident of winning as I move forward to that super-fight with Leo Santa Cruz.”

JASON Quigley will challenge Demetrius 'Boo Boo' Andrade for the WBO middleweight title in Manchester, New Hampshire on November 17.

Quigley (19-1, 14 KOs) moved into prime position to land a world title shot in May by beating Golden Boy stablemate Shane Mosley Jr by majority decision in a thriller in Las Vegas, and the former amateur star becomes the second Irishman to challenge ‘Boo Boo' after Luke Keeler took on the WBO ruler in Miami in January 2020.

The Donegal native intends to follow in the footsteps of coach Andy Lee and bring the WBO belt "back to Ireland".

“I've worked my whole career to get into this position of becoming world champion,” said Quigley.

“Demetrius is a great champion but now it's my time and that world title is coming back to Ireland.”

It seems that Andrade (30-0) is already looking past the Ballybofey native and ahead to lucrative match-ups with the likes of 'Canelo' Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. He puts his belt on the line for the fifth time and the Rhode Island star will be looking for a statement win as he hunts the unification blockbusters with his fellow belt holders at 160lbs. The 33-year-old, who picked up the vacant strap in his first fight with Eddie Hearn in Boston in October 2018, can make it five straight fights with European challengers when he steps through the ropes against Quigley.

“Jason Quigley, is world rated, good amateur pedigree, decent skills, comes to fight, and hats off to him, he's actually willing to step in the ring with me, which you can't say for any of these other so-called top guys. On November 19 though I show him that there are levels to this game.

"Just keep winning, that's all I can do - go in there, handle my business, do my job, look sensational, come out healthy and then it's onto the next. If you have a belt at 160 or 168 lbs, let's go.

"Put the politics aside, have your people call Eddie. Let's get down to business. Charlo, stop running your mouth, making up excuse after excuse. You're a fighter, let's fight bro. GGG, where you at? Unify against Murata and then let's put the three belts on the line next year.

“Canelo you going to run up to 175? Cool, I can meet you there, no problem. First things first though, I need to go out on November 19, defend my championship belt, and put on a spectacular performance, and that's exactly what I plan on doing.”

TYSON Fury says he'll be in “full-out attack” mode when the action starts in his trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Fury's remarkable back-from-the-brink recovery earned him a split decision draw in his first meeting with ‘The Bronze Bomber' back in 2018 but he was the clear winner of the rematch in February last year.

‘The Gypsy King' barely put a foot wrong and a one-sided beat-down finally ended when Wilder's corner threw the towel in midway through the seventh round with their man in serious trouble. Fury says Saturday night will be more of the same for the American.

“I'm going to go all guns blazing, full-out attack, all-in victory, straight out of the door from round one until it finishes,” said Fury.

“It's either going to be me or Wilder. I've never had a bad training camp and I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm injury-free, which is the most important thing. I'm really looking forward to it and I can't wait.”

In the wake of his loss to Fury – the first of his career – Wilder offered a lengthy list of excuses. Fury has been unimpressed be his two-time opponents' outbursts, saying they have made him a “weaker character and less of a man and less of a fighter”.

“When you get beat, you get beat,” he said.

“Shake the man's hand and move on. Lots of fighters have lost. Muhammad Ali lost fights, Mike Tyson lost fights. It's what they do after they lose that makes them who they are. I don't really have a lot to say about what Deontay Wilder was saying. It's none of my concern because when some people lose, they have to make up an excuse for why they lost and that's what Wilder's reason is for convincing himself about whatever happened. That's up to him, so good luck to him in the fight, and we'll see if he can do anything better.”

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has said there is “no heavyweight in the world that can beat Tyson Fury” and Fury intends to provide proof of that with an emphatic win on Saturday.

“I hope he brings a better fight because (our) last fight was disappointing, to say the least,” he said.

“I trained for an absolute war, and it was a one-sided beat-down, so hopefully he can give me a challenge.

“It's none of my concern about where the belts are as long as my belt is strapped around my waist.

“The rest of them, I don't care where they go because there's only one man that can bring them all back and that's me.

“I'm sick of saying it: There has only ever been one, and there only can ever be one, and that is me, ‘The Gypsy King.' It's nearly that time of the year again where I take over Las Vegas, and it becomes the home of ‘The Gypsy King,' and just remember that I plan to smash Deontay Wilder to bits….and I will.”

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