Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez will make the first defense of his IBF featherweight world title against Michael “Mick” Conlan this Saturday, May 27, at The SSE Arena in Conlan’s hometown of Belfast.
Lopez-Conlan and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S. beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT.
Lopez (27-2, 15 KOs), from Mexicali, Mexico, navigated bumpy terrain to become a world champion. Despite losing early in his career to Abraham Montoya and Ruben Villa, he regained his momentum with victories over unbeaten standouts Gabriel Flores Jr. and Isaac Lowe. After two stay-busy wins, Lopez received his shot at the title, defeating Josh Warrington last December in enemy territory in Leeds, England. Now under the tutelage of Kay Koroma, he is set to make his first title defense.
Conlan (18-1, 9 KOs), a 31-year-old Olympic bronze medalist, made an unsuccessful bid for the WBA featherweight title against Leigh Wood in March 2022 but bounced back later that year with wins over Miguel Marriaga and Karim Guerfi. Less than six months after his first-round knockout against Guerfi, he will return to The SSE Arena for the third straight time.
In other ESPN+ streaming action from Belfast:
In a battle of undefeated featherweights,
Nick Ball (17-0, 10 KOs) defends his WBC Silver title in a 12-rounder against Ludumo Lamati (21-0-1, 11 KOs). Ball, hailing from Liverpool, England, secured his regional title by defeating Isaac Lowe via sixth-round TKO in April 2022. He defended it later that year with stoppage wins against Nathanael Kakololo and Jesus Ramirez Rubio. Lamati, from South Africa, enters the bout after his fourth-round knockout win against Mark Anthony Geraldo last November.
Junior lightweight contender Anthony Cacace (20-1, 7 KOs) takes on Polish standout Damian Wrzesinski (
26-2-2, 7 KOs) in a 12-round clash. Cacace is 5-0 after suffering his first defeat in 2017 and is coming off a decision win against Michael Magnesi last September. Wrzesinski returns to the ring after decisioning Artjoms Ramlavs last October.
Pierce O’Leary (11-0, 6 KOs), the undefeated fighting pride of Dublin, defends his WBC International title in a 10-round junior welterweight tilt against Romania’s Alin Florin Ciorceri (17-3, 7 KOs).
Photo/Courtesy: Conlan Boxing