“I feel like Conlan isn’t as efficient as he makes out.”
Many of us as still getting our heads around what was an all-time classic, on Saturday night, between Leigh Woods and Michael Conlan.
The Belfast boxer headed to Wood’s home town of Nottingham and put on one hell of a show. Had he been up against most other featherweights, Conlan would have scored a win in the first four rounds.
Wood is made of tungsten, though, and ate some absolute bombs, as well as surviving a brutal knock-down, to come on strong in the final rounds. Conlan was hanging on in rounds 11 and 12 but copped a knock-out blow with just seconds to go, before a follow-up connection sent him through the ropes.
Following the fight, Wood told Conlan, who was briefly hospitalised, that ‘it takes two to tango’ and vowed he would be a future world champion. His opponent may be pushing for a rematch, but Wood is hoping to put his WBA title up against the former super featherweight world champ Leo Santa Cruz in his next outing.
One boxer that has in-ring experience with both Wood and Conlan is Jordan Gill, and fight fans are now poring back over his prediction for Saturday’s title fight.
Jordan Gill’s accurate pre-fight prediction
Appearing on From the Corner, JOE’s show with DAZN, Jordan Gill backed Leigh Wood to have too much staying power and heavy shots for Conlan.
The English boxer has sparred with both men before and sided with Wood to retain his featherweight belt.
He said: “I feel like Conlan is not as efficient as he makes out. I feel Leigh is going to put it on him from the start, and Michael is going to have to work hard to keep up with Leigh Wood. And Leigh maintains that power – that God-given power that he’s got – for 12 rounds.
“So, late on, he could catch him and it could be game over.”
As it played out, Gill almost had that fight prediction perfect. The only deviation was that Conlan actually had the brighter start.
Knowing how much of an athlete Wood was, the pre-fight tactics were to conserve energy for the later rounds, but that first round knock-down, and other openings in those first four rounds, may have convinced the former Olympian he could end the contest early. As it was, he made some lovely, flush connections but could not put Wood away, and emptied his tank in the process.
Speaking to JOE ahead of that fight, Conlan declared, “Leigh believes in his own power so, so much, that it will be his downfall.”
In the end, Wood’s power and staying power, as Gill put it, saw his hand raised in victory.
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