LUIS ALBERTO LOPEZ is targeting another British scalp for his growing reputation.
The Mexican made a case for being the best featherweight in the world with his win against Michael Conlan at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Saturday. Lopez 28-2 (16) proved once again that fighting on away turf is no concern after stopping the Northern Irishman in the fifth round with a perfectly placed uppercut.
Lopez is now unbeaten in his last 11 fights, spanning four years, since losing to Ruben Villa on points in May 2019. In December ‘El Venado’ beat Josh Warrington on points to lay his marker on the world featherweight scene.
Across the water in Manchester on Saturday night Leigh Wood 27-3 (16) won a wide unanimous decision against Lopez’ countryman Mauricio Lara with a disciplined and commanding performance in their rematch from February this year.
Lopez manager Kiki Magana spoke to Mirror Fighting after the triumph in Belfast and had a message for Wood’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
“Please go and tell him that he [Wood] is next.
“Of course, let’s make it happen – I’m planning to buy a house in the UK. We’re about to call Eddie Hearn and tell him ‘if the money’s right we’ll come to London and we’ll fight Leigh Wood’. It will be a full house!”
As well as Wood, Hearn also promotes Lara, Josh Warrington, and Raymond Ford in the featherweight division. Boxing News spoke to the Matchroom promoter in Manchester following Wood’s win and asked about a possible Lopez fight.
“Sure, it’s a great fight. Leigh wants to unify, he wants to fight at the City Ground, he wants to fight Warrington and he’s only got a couple of fights left.
“There’s a mandatory pending against [Otabek] Kholmatov who’s a great fighter. It’s not a big fight. Leigh said he’s probably got two fights left and Kholmatov’s not, with all due respect to him, on that list and he’s good. I think the Warrington fight is the one that makes sense. I’d love to see if there’s a way to make that fight.”
Wood has his heart set on fighting at the City Ground football stadium next, the historic home of his beloved Nottingham Forest. And the 34-year-old named British rival and Leeds United supported Josh Warrington as his preferred option when BN caught up with him after beating Lara.
“I think it makes a great fight, a great atmosphere as well with the battling fans vocally. We’ll see what happens. It makes sense. The only thing is time,” he said.
Warrington would have been a keen observer of Saturday night’s action in Manchester and Belfast. The 32-year-old has fought the likes of Lopez, Kiko Martinez, Mauricio Lara, Kid Galahad, Carl Frampton and Lee Selby during his career. However, Warrington put out a tweet after the main event in Belfast making his feelings clear about who he’d like to fight.
“I’d f*****g love to run it back with Lopez.”