Lee Wood and Michael Conlan meet at Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England on Saturday 12 March. The competition features a WBA featherweight champion who made his first title defense against an undefeated opponent in the 12-round World Championship scheduled round.
The first leg of the press tour was held earlier today in Nottingham. Check below what the fighters and their coaches as well as Matchroom President Eddie Hearn have to say.
Boxing fans can watch Wood vs Conlan live on DAZN all over the world (except Australia and New Zealand).
Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport
“Thank you, Nottingham, for your participation today, it has already been ten years this coming May that we are sitting here for Karl Frosch against Lucien Pott. Ten years since we were last at Nottingham Arena for a big fight night, world championship fight night .
“That night still reminds me of how amazing boxing was, one of the greatest nights in British boxing history and of course on March 12 we have another great night. We’ve been wanting to come back to this city for so long and now we have the excuse to do it with a great fight – the featherweight title. International Ben Lee Wood of Nottingham against Michael Conlan of Belfast.
“It’s just a great fight for both men, for Michael Conlan has had the profile and amateur pedigree, and for a long time was widely seen as the world champion in waiting. This young man to my right, Lee Wood, people should be proud of, he did it.” The hard way in the professional ranks.
“Wood packed into the small halls, fighting like a distant fighter, suffering defeats while he might not have, fought last minute battles. In our back garden in the summer, he produced one of the best displays of a British fighter for a long time, as he dethroned Kan Shaw to become world champion.”
“On March 12, Nottingham gets a chance to celebrate one of them as world champions. It’s always great to have a kid from the city, born from Nottingham, get the chance to defend their world title right in front of their people on DAZN.”
Lee Wood (25-2, 15 KOs) of Nottingham, England defends his featherweight title against Michael Conlan
“I’m very focused, I was here when I was a little boy watching Froch do it, I was supposed to fight on that law. Coming here and watching Froch do it gave me that experience, and how we dealt with stress over the course of the week, I’ve been eating all the Something because I knew my time would come.
“I was 10 and I wanted to do this, I wanted to be here in this seat now and wouldn’t let it slide. I’m fighting away from the Battle of the City Ground and it’s my dream and I won’t let it slide.
“I’m not looking at that fight [Warrington]I’m not bothered about the belt or the money. I’m here to do a job, I’m focused on Conlan and I know what I have to do to win. I’m working out the next seven weeks, practicing exactly what I need to do to win. After the fight, we’ll look at the next step and belt placement.
“I respect him [Conlan] As a fighter, I didn’t see him as a fighter and thought he’d do anything unexpected or special. I categorize and respect him as a fighter, making sure I do whatever I need to do to win. It is very deceptive. We’ve looked at it in great detail.
“So judicious on social media, it seems like all of Kunlan’s team is trying to annoy me, but that’s what it is, I give what I get. He can do whatever he wants to try to get rid of, but I see that as a weakness, trying to get Any feature he can do – it won’t do one thing but do the opposite.
“This fight is everything to me. I don’t need to denigrate him, tell him what he didn’t do or offers, I know what I can do and I know what I can do, I’ll go out and do it – set up a big fight, my dream is to fight in the city land.”
Ben Davison, Lee Wood coach
“It’s a massive fight and as Jimmy and Michael have said, the traveling Irish fans will create a great atmosphere, and Nottingham fans have just shown that they will bring in a great atmosphere.
“All the blood, sweat and tears these two guys have put in over the years since they both started boxing, it all boils down to this fight and this moment. There is pressure, a hell of a lot of pressure, and who can handle, accept and learn how to use that pressure can make a diamond.” At night it’s a great fight and it’s going to be a great post at night.
“This is Michael’s first world title shot and Can Xu was my first world title shot, obviously a dream of fighting for a world title but for Leigh Wood his dream has always been to win a world title in Nottingham. He’s got it now and that’s what pressures On me, he’s dealt with pressure before and he’s very good at dealing with it, and I think that shows up at night.
“It’s hard to explain, but it still shocks me how hard it hits me, it’s weird. I’ve trained him for over a year now and when I put plasters on him it still shocks me. This is not going to win this fight, Michael is a very versatile fighter who can adapt throughout the fight.” , during the rounds as well. Preparation, tactics and Lee’s understanding of what he needs to do and when he needs to do it, that will be very important.”
Michael Conlan (16-0, 8 KOs) of Belfast, Northern Ireland challenges Lee Wood for the WBA featherweight title
“I was elated with him, wished Leigh good luck in fight week and really wanted him to win. I have a lot of respect for him, he seems like a really good guy and I’ve heard a lot of good things about him. I have the utmost respect for him as a person and a fighter but I have sex with every That’s even after the fight. Let’s finish the fight.
“I’ve been with top punchers my whole life, I’ve had over 250 fights with amateurs and tangled in many rounds with big punches – Oscar Valdez.
“I have an answer for whatever he does to me, I know what kind of fighter he is, he punches hard yes but slow foot and curly head. I will punch in front of him.”
Jimmy Conlan, Conlan Boxing
“I think that is fate, Michael has always been destined in Ireland to be one of the best boxers to have ever come out of the country. He has proven that as an amateur he has become the only world champion from Ireland as an amateur.
“He progressed really well as a pro and when the opportunity to come to Nottingham came up, and there was some jeers and grumblings, we were so glad we sat down and said this is what it should be. To become the world champion, you have to go to the backyard and beat him in front of his family and friends, and that’s This is how you define a legacy.
“The energy that comes from Ireland, the ferocity and hostility that will be in that arena. We are so excited and I am so proud as a brother, so proud to be a part of his crew and see him progress to this moment. That is, that is destiny.”
“No doubt at all, on March 12th he’ll be a hero. It’s just the two of us, that’s how confident we are, we don’t need to bring everyone into our gym and watch him at a press conference. We came here, it’s work, so excited.”
“Belfast, when they fall behind, it’s hard to beat them. As a city we don’t have much, boxing is our sport and our passion, our boxers in Ireland and Belfast especially as the back page news. In England, footballers take priority, in West Belfast where we are boxers, they are Praise us over any other athlete because they know Belfast is a boxing city.”
Among the matches featured on Wood vs Conlan undercard, former Uniform and IBO featherweight champion Terri Harper was competing against former WBO featherweight champion Heather Hardy. More bouts are expected in the coming weeks.