Boxing Betting Tips: Leigh Wood v Michael Conlan WBA Featherweight Tips & Predictions

Dave Kuzio /
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Leigh Wood puts his WBA featherweight title on the line when he takes on Michael Conlan at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on Saturday evening.

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Leigh Wood v Michael Conlan WBA Featherweight Tips & Predictions

I have to admit, the recent Josh Taylor versus Jack Catterall fight left a sour taste in my mouth. Two fighters put their lives on the line, and to see a boxer get robbed as Catterall did was hard to take.

I didn’t even enjoy the Lawrence Okolie card 24 hours later because I couldn’t stop thinking about what I witnessed the evening before.

Hopefully, this fight between Wood and Conlan will allow me to fall back in love with boxing. Actually, I think this will be a thrilling contest which is very hard to predict.

Wood will put his WBA featherweight title on the line for the first time. He has a professional record of 27 fights, 25 wins and two defeats.

The 33-year-old won the belt back in July 2021 when he stopped Xu Can in the 12th and final round. He will be hoping to keep hold of it for a while longer.

Wood will be the home fighter in Nottingham, and he has stopped 15 of his opponents within the distance.

Conlan is undefeated as a professional fighter. He is a former Olympic boxer and won bronze for Ireland at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

As a professional, he has won all 16 of his fights. Eight of them by knockout and eight by decision.

Conlan got this opportunity against Wood after beating T.J Doheny on points to win the interim WBA featherweight title last August.

The Irishman has said that he is not worried about the fight going the distance and getting edged out by suspicious judges. He believes he will make sure there is no doubt about the winner come the end of the fight.

In an ideal world, the winner of the fight will win by knockout, so there is no doubt whatsoever. At the moment, fighters cannot afford to trust the judges with their fate. With that in mind, I am backing a clear winner in this one.

With his Olympic background, Conlan has been installed as the favourite to win the fight. To be honest, I have changed my mind a number of times on who will win this fight – it will be that close. Hopefully, my gut is right on this one.

I am going for Wood to get the knockout win in his hometown. The crowd will spur him on, and hopefully, it will be for the right reasons.

In Wood’s last seven fights, he has won five by stoppage, lost one, and won one on points. Back the Nottingham fighter to end this in the later rounds. I am backing him to get Conlan out of there in the 11th.

Leigh Wood v Michael Conlan WBA Featherweight Tips & Predictions: Fighter’s Predictions

Leigh Wood: “It’s dawning on him the mountain he’s going to have to climb. It’s dawning on him the scale of the job, the severity of the fight. It’s alright playing the joker and having a laugh, swearing a few times at a press conference, now he’s got to fight. He knows this is his hardest fight, he’s admitted that this is his hardest fight. He can say what he wants, but he’s got to get in there and fight. In my eyes he’s doing things he’s not used to doing, he’s doing things he doesn’t normally do before a fight, that’s a worrying sign. I’m not saying it’s dawning on him like he’s getting scared, I see straight through his confidence. I see straight through it, he says to me on the press conference things like, him and his brother, ‘I’ve not boxed in front of this many people before’, they are hoping I trip and stumble under the pressure. When we got close, he mentioned my shoulder operation in October which was very close to my camp, he said ‘How’s your shoulder?’ He’s hoping I’ve got a bad shoulder; he’s hoping I slip and crumble under that pressure, not a single chance.”

Michael Conlan: “I don’t think anybody has seen the best of me and that’s the exciting thing about it. I’ve always said, once the opponent and the level raises, that’s where I raise. I was s**t when I fought nationals, but when I went abroad, I was world champion, I was beating everybody, nobody could beat me. The better the opponent in front of me, it gives you more opportunity, gives you more reason to do different things. Betting favourite now means nothing, I believe I am the underdog in this fight. People underestimate my own punch power, they think maybe because I don’t have loads of knockouts and I’m not flattening guys that I don’t punch hard. If I couldn’t punch hard people would walk right through me and I think if you speak to any of my past opponents, they’d say the same. For me he’s a very good fighter, all round good ability. Good punch, good technique, good tactics. Once you become world champion, your level raises, I understand it, I understand I’ll be facing the best Leigh Wood there’s ever been. But he’s going to be facing the best Michael Conlan there’s ever been because I am very hungry for this. This is my destiny standing in front of me. I’ve always said, once my opportunity comes, I will jump with both hands, and I’ll grab it. There is no floor underneath, I will jump and hold onto that. I think I’ll make a statement in this fight. I think people will start to talk a lot more respectfully, a lot more positive about me.”

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