Home Boxing Leigh Wood knocks out Michael Conlan in 12th round to retain WBA featherweight title

Leigh Wood knocks out Michael Conlan in 12th round to retain WBA featherweight title


NOTTINGHAM, England — Leigh Wooden produced a surprising comeback win to halt Michael Conlan with a brutal knockout within the twelfth spherical and retain his WBA “regular” world featherweight title Saturday in entrance of his house metropolis crowd on the Nottingham Area.

For the second successive battle, Wooden clinched the victory within the closing spherical, however the dramatic end was overshadowed by fast concern for Conlan, who fell backward by way of the ropes and off the ring apron.

Conlan was handled by medics at ringside and was rapidly taken to a close-by hospital, the place he was aware and in secure situation, in line with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn. Hearn mentioned that Conlan was awaiting a CT scan.

Conlan tweeted later Saturday that he was OK.

For Wooden (26-2, 16 KOs), 33, it was one other late, dramatic win after he produced an upset to cease China’s Xu Can within the closing spherical final 12 months in his first world title battle. Wooden was dominated early on, together with being knocked down within the first spherical, however he recovered to ground Conlan late within the eleventh spherical and resumed his assault within the twelfth, knocking Conlan by way of the ropes at 1 minute, 25 seconds amid a barrage of punches.

“I hit him with everything, but he’s so tough,” Wooden mentioned. “I’m just thinking about Mick now. It was a bad knockout.”

Hearn echoed Wooden’s concern for Conlan, saying, “We should be celebrating one of the best knockouts I’ve ever seen, but our thoughts are with Michael right now.”

Conlan (16-1, 8 KOs), 30, from Belfast, Northern Eire, had managed a lot of the battle and practically took the title within the opening spherical. Wooden did a lot of the urgent within the first however was then caught by a cleverly disguised left hand from Conlan late within the spherical, which left him flat on his again for a depend.

It was a fantastic shot from Conlan, who had Wooden in hassle once more early within the second spherical as he regularly discovered Wooden along with his left hooks. Wooden seemed dazed for a lot of the second spherical, getting caught with clear left hooks as Conlan stamped his authority on the battle.

Conlan, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, started the third rigorously, earlier than staggering Wooden with a proper hand within the final minute of the spherical. However the battle turned within the fourth spherical as Wooden fought again, attacking with flurries of punches.

Wooden confirmed loads of aggression in Rounds 5 and 6, however the cleaner and sharper punches got here from the challenger. Within the sixth, Conlan nailed Wooden with a crunching proper hook to the chin that the champion did nicely to shrug off.

Wooden confirmed loads of coronary heart within the eighth, when he put Conlan below probably the most strain he had skilled to that time within the battle. Wooden was full of fireplace within the tenth spherical, giving Conlan a torrid time when the Irishman was sat on the ropes.

Wooden was getting tagged within the eleventh, however he discovered the energy and braveness below strain to land a left hook that despatched Conlan to the canvas. Conlan complained it was a slip, however he was nonetheless given a depend on the finish of the eleventh, and it spurred on Wooden to provide a surprising turnaround within the closing spherical once more.

In the beginning of the twelfth, Wooden launched a ferocious and relentless assault, which left Conlan out on his toes earlier than the Irishman collapsed by way of the ropes, falling backward out of the ring.

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