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Luis Lopez defends IBF featherweight title against Michael Conlan on May 27

Luis Alberto Lopez celebrates winning the IBF featherweight title. Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
Fighters Network

Luis Lopez will make the first defense of the IBF featherweight title against Michael Conlan on May 27, a source confirmed with The Ring Monday morning. Mike Coppinger of ESPN was the first to break the story on the location and date of the fight.

The 12-round bout will take place at the SSE Arena in Conlan’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland and will stream live on ESPN+. 

The fight, reportedly, was easily made as both are promoted by Top Rank. Lopez-Conlan is also a clash between fighters ranked in the top 10 by The Ring. Lopez and Conlan are ranked No. 3 and 10, respectively.

Lopez (27-2, 15 knockouts), who resides in Mexicali, Mexico, won the IBF title in his last bout on December 10, defeating Josh Warrington by majority decision in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds, England. 

The 29-year-old won an elimination bout in December 2021, dropping Isaac Lowe multiple times en route to a seventh round knockout win.

Lopez has won his last 10 fights since losing to Ruben Villa in May 2019. Aside from the win over Lowe, Lopez also has notable wins over Andy Vences, Cristian Baez, and Gabriel Flores, Jr. 

Conlan (18-1, 9 KOs) also last fought on December 10, stopping Karim Guerfi in the opening round. The win over Guerfi also took place at the SSE Arena. 

On March 12 of last year, Conlan challenged then-WBA featherweight titleholder Leigh Wood, dropping him once in the opening round, but was not able to finish him off. In a back-and-forth war, Wood scored the knockout win when he dropped Conlan through the ropes and out of the ring. The Wood-Conlan fight was named the 2022 Ring Magazine ‘Fight of the Year.’

The 31-year-old has notable victories over former world titleholder TJ Doheny and former world title challenger Miguel Marriaga. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]