Michael Conlan sensationally stopped by Luis Alberto Lopez in Belfast

Not a good fortnight for the fighting Irish.

Last week Katie Taylor lost a points decision to Chantelle Cameron to the shock of Dublin. Tonight Michael Conlan was expected to wipe the Irish tears away as he challenged Luis Alberto Lopez for his IBF featherweight title.

You could say the flood gates have opened after Conlan was brutally knocked out by Lopez at the SSE Arena, Belfast. A stunning right uppercut to chest/neck area sent Conlan to the canvass. Trainer Adam Booth threw the towel in as soon as he hit the deck, referee Michael Alexander would have likely have stopped the bout regardless at 1:14 in round 5. Conlan was in no state to continue as he lay on the ground for some time after the brutal knockout.

Conlan was in trouble early in the 12 round scheduled world title fight. The 1st round was his most impressive, which was hard to split but Conlan’s boxing skills just about prevailed in the first three minutes. The crowd was deafening in his hometown as they anticipated crowning one of their own as world champion. It was not meant to be, a confident Lopez really got started in the 2nd, as did Conlan. The fight set fire quickly with both landing nice shots in an up and down round. Conlan’s had Lopez backed into the corner

Round 3 was dominant for Lopez who had Conlan holding on desperately. However, Conlan did some of his own impressive work. An early hook to the body appeared to stop Lopez in his tracks. However, this is when the trouble started for Conlan. Just seconds later Lopez took over and impressively Conlan hung on to end the round competitively.

As the 4th round commenced it looked as if Conlan had shaken off the scares of the 3rd round. Conlan asserted himself on the center of the ring early, landing the first jab. Another difficult round to split, it was Conlan’s better boxing compared to Lopez’s power shots. The latter proved to be the more effective as the end was near for Conlan and his beloved Belfast.

A spectacular one-punch knockout sent Lopez swaggering off confidently as he admired his perfect shot. Lopez made a successful first defense of his title that he won against Josh Warrington last year.

Lopez picks up a second straight world title victory on the road. He improves his record to 28-2 (16 KOs) and is now the inform man at 126 pounds. Conlan picks up a second defeat in his second world title attempt after bouncing back from his first career defeat to Leigh Wood, with wins over Miguel Marriaga and Karim Guerfi. His record moves to 18-2, with 2 KO defeats now on his record.