Luis Alberto Lopez upset the odds again on Saturday night. The Mexicali, Mexico native annihilated Michael Conlan in the fifth round of their IBF featherweight title fight at The SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Lopez may as well be called “The Hometown Spoiler.” His impressive triumph was his second in his opponent’s hometown in six months.
Lopez (28-2, 16 KOs) destroyed Conlan (18-2, 9 KOs), 31, with a vicious right uppercut that knocked Conlan flat on his back. Adam Booth, Conlan’s trainer, immediately threw in the towel, which stopped their scheduled 12-round, 126-pound championship bout at 1:14 of the fifth round. The Top Rank bout ran on the ESPN platform.
The 29-year-old made the first defense of his IBF belt since defeating former two-time titleholder Josh Warrington by majority decision in their 12-round bout last December 10 in Leeds, England.
Conlan (18-2, 9 KOs) was viciously knocked out for the second time in 14 months. Leigh Wood knocked him out in the 12th round of their WBA title fight last year.
HOW IT WENT DOWN
Both fighters started fast in the first, throwing hard shots to the head and the body. Conlan was more accurate, connecting with a four-punch combination just past the halfway mark of the round. Conlan found Lopez a tough test, as presumed.
Conlan continued to have success in the second round as he backed up Lopez with a straight left hand. However, Lopez also had his moments. A right-left combination by Lopez stopped Conlan in his tracks with 28 seconds remaining.
Lopez started to invest in the body in the third round, and it paid great dividends. He countered Conlan with a left to the body to open the action and blasted him to the body again at the halfway point.
He punctuated the one-sided round by drilling Conlan with a right uppercut and a left hand followed up by a barrage of punches that clearly hurt his opponent.
Although Conlan put up a tough stand, Lopez continued to punish him in the fourth round with blunt shots to the body and the head.
Michael Conlan Stopped As Towel Gets Thrown
Lopez walked down Conlan in the fifth round with surgical precision.
He lunged forward, nailed him with a left hook to the body, and backed him up further with a right hook downstairs. Moments later, Conlan fired away with a series of lefts and rights, all of which missed and allowed Lopez to counter him easily.
The champ then countered him again with sharp right uppercut down the middle, which put the Irishman down for good. The towel flew in to the ring, signaling the end.