Leigh Wood sends Michael Conlan through the ropes with stunning KO

‘The most dramatic fight I’ve ever witnessed’: Eddie Hearn is left stunned as Leigh Wood survives a first-round knockdown to knock Michael Conlan THROUGH THE ROPES in a breathtaking clash… as the promoter says he will celebrate ‘when the time is right’

  • Leigh Wood secured a knockout of the year candidate against Michael Conlan 
  • Wood, 33, dramatically knocked Conlan through the ropes in the final round
  • That’s after being heavily knocked down by the Irishman in the opening round 
  • Wood retained his WBA featherweight world title with the stunning victory

Promoter Eddie Hearn was left utterly stunned by Leigh Wood’s breathtaking knockout victory over Michael Conlan on Saturday night, describing the bout as “the most dramatic fight I’ve ever witnessed”.

Wood retained his WBA featherweight strap with the scintillating victory having been forced to climb off the canvas following a heavy knockdown in the opening round of the eagerly-anticipated bout.  

Fighting in his home city of Nottingham for the first defence of his newly-acclaimed title, Wood went for broke in the 12th and final round, knocking his Irish counterpart through the ropes and out the ring with a stunning final flurry of punches.  

Leigh Wood climbed off the canvas to knock Michael Conlan out of the ring on Saturday night

The Nottingham fighter retained his WBA featherweight world title with the stunning victory

Wood, who moved to 26-2 as a professional with the victory, caused one of the major upsets in 2021 with his shock win over Xu Can, where his evident knockout power was on show as he secured another 12th-round TKO victory.   

The 33-year-old put in another statement performance on Saturday in a bout many beforehand believed to be a 50-50 encounter, with Conlan coming in with exquisite amateur pedigree and yet to taste defeat in the pro ranks.    

Hearn took to social media in the immediate aftermath to give his thoughts, which were understandably focused as much on Conlan as they were on Wood, with the former treated extensively by the medics before leaving the arena on a stretcher. 

‘The most dramatic fight I’ve ever witnessed,’ he tweeted. ‘All our thoughts with Michael Conlan right now.’ 

Wood celebrated the victory with trainer Ben Davison (centre left) and the rest of his team

Though enduring his first professional defeat come the final round, it was Conlan who got off to a dream start, leaving Wood on wobbly legs as he put the champion to the floor with a looping overhand left.   

But Wood rallied and was starting to find some success as the bout wore on, evening the knockdowns in the 11th – despite Conlan’s protestations of a slip – before delivering a stunning finish in the final round.

A bruising right hand seemed to buckle Conlan before Wood unloaded with a further flurry to back up his opponent, who tumbled between the ropes with the contest coming to a halt.  

Victory sets up a mammoth next outing for Wood, who has plenty of options to pick from in a thriving featherweight division.  

Mauricio Lara – who knocked out Josh Warrington last year, before their rematch was scored a technical draw after the bout was called off due to a cut suffered by an accidental clash of heads – once again provided a reminder of his fearsome power with a stoppage win over Emilio Sanchez last week. 

But perhaps more likely for Wood is a bout against Warrington, who looks to reclaim his IBF strap against Kiko Martinez later in the month.   

Speaking to DAZN after the fight, Hearn said: ‘To be honest, we want to go back to go back to the changing room, make sure Michael’s alright, that’s all we care about at the moment. We’ll celebrate when the time is right. 

‘But you’ve got a huge featherweight world championship fight coming up in two weeks between Josh Warrington and Kiko Martinez – the winner of that fight in a big unification fight. 

‘Leo Santa Cruz, [Emanuel] Navarrete… you know, I said to Leigh Wood tonight on the ring walk, “This is it, this is your moment, but it’s just the beginning”. 

‘He left it to the last 90 seconds to change his life again tonight.’  

Hearn later revealed that Conlan is conscious and stable, revealing he was sitting up and talking, though awaiting CT scan results.  

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