Leigh Wooden knocks out Michael Conlan in 12th spherical to retain WBA featherweight title


NOTTINGHAM, England — Leigh Wooden produced a surprising comeback win to halt Michael Conlan with a brutal knockout within the 12th spherical and retain his WBA “common” world featherweight title Saturday in entrance of his residence metropolis crowd on the Nottingham Area.

For the second successive battle, Wooden clinched the victory within the remaining spherical, however the dramatic end was overshadowed by fast concern for Conlan, who fell backward by 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 acutely aware and in steady situation, in line with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn. Hearn stated 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 remaining 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 11th spherical and resumed his assault within the 12th, knocking Conlan by the ropes at 1 minute, 25 seconds amid a barrage of punches.

“I hit him with all the pieces, however he is so robust,” Wooden stated. “I am simply excited about Mick now. It was a nasty knockout.”

Hearn echoed Wooden’s concern for Conlan, saying, “We must be celebrating probably the greatest knockouts I’ve ever seen, however our ideas are with Michael proper now.”

Conlan (16-1, eight KOs), 30, from Belfast, Northern Eire, had managed a lot of the battle and almost took the title within the opening spherical. Wooden did many 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 terrific shot from Conlan, who had Wooden in hassle once more early within the second spherical as he frequently discovered Wooden together with his left hooks. Wooden appeared 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 fastidiously, 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 properly to shrug off.

Wooden confirmed loads of coronary heart within the eighth, when he put Conlan beneath essentially the most stress he had skilled to that time within the battle. Wooden was full of fireside within the 10th spherical, giving Conlan a torrid time when the Irishman was sat on the ropes.

Wooden was getting tagged within the 11th, however he discovered the power and braveness beneath stress 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 11th, and it spurred on Wooden to provide a surprising turnaround within the remaining spherical once more.

Firstly of the 12th, Wooden launched a ferocious and relentless assault, which left Conlan out on his toes earlier than the Irishman collapsed by the ropes, falling backward out of the ring.

Source link