Lopez vs Conlan Odds Preview: Destiny or Destruction in Belfast

Ireland Could Crown Another Champion if Odds Prove True

Conlan Slightly Favored to Beat the Champ, Lopez

Luis Alberto Lopez and Michael Conlan collide to determine the featherweight champion. Despite being the challenger, Conlan is slightly favored per the Lopez vs Conlan odds. Lopez will be an underdog for the second straight contest as he defends his belt in enemy territory. In this clash of styles, Lopez either defends in brutal fashion or Conlan paints a beautiful picture to finally become the world champion.

Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan

Fighters: Luis Alberto Lopez (C) (27-2-0, 15 KOs) vs Michael Conlan (18-1-0, 9 KOs)
Title: IBF World Featherweight (126 lbs)
Location: SSE Hydro, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Deja Vu For Lopez

Luis Alberto Lopez still needs some respect in his name. Despite upsetting Josh Warrington to win the belt, the Mexican remains an underdog per the boxing odds. Lopez defeated Warrington clearly despite one judge scoring the fight a draw and he did it in Warrington’s own backyard. Now, he’ll look to do the same to Conlan in Belfast.

“This is going to be a great fight. He’s an Olympian. He knows how to stick and move. It’s going to be a difficult fight. But my preparation has been excellent. This has been the best training camp of my entire career, and as soon as he starts planting his feet a bit, the fight will end very quickly,” Lopez said in the Top Rank statement.

It will be difficult indeed as Conlan is a much bigger boxer than Lopez. The champion gives up 2.5 inches in reach and is also four inches shorter. The Lopez vs Conlan odds likely weighed the size difference in favor of Conlan thus why Lopez is the underdog.

“It wouldn’t be smart for him to try to brawl with me. So, I expect him to come out and box. But I have the speed and strength to cut the ring and find him. I will knock Michael Conlan out!”

It’s a bold statement from Lopez especially since he’s not known for his punching power. He did knock out his last three opponents prior to Warrington. But they were overmatched. Instead, Lopez will need to do as he says: keep Conlan contained and force him into a brawl. It is what led to the Irishman’s only defeat against Leigh Wood.

Conlan Loves to Fight, But He Must Box

Conlan has the mind of a clinical boxer but the heart of a brawler. The 31-year-old, at his best, breaks his opponents down by boxing at a distance. He is big for the weight division and typically enjoys a reach advantage. He’s the favorite per the Lopez vs Conlan odds for a reason.

But despite winning on the scorecards, he has a penchant for putting himself in harm’s way for the thrill of it. Against Wood, Conlan tried to make a statement by engaging in an ill-advised brawl and paid the price for it. That was his first shot at the title. Since then, he’s rebounded nicely by dominating Miguel Marriaga and starching Karim Guerfi.

“That feeling (of losing)… I never want to feel that again and that’s something I use as motivation. It motivates me a lot – when there’s a minute-and-a-half left and knowing you have to bite down and go even harder and keep fighting,” Conlan told The Irish News.

Conlan was about 90 seconds away from winning a world title against Wood. Since that loss, he’s trained to better his endurance to pace himself. Against Lopez, a boxer that can grind opponents down with his unorthodox and “on-and-off” style, he will be tested.

“All those little things – the silly mistakes that happen when the fatigue takes over. Those things play in my head and the only way to eradicate them is by putting the work in.”

Conlan will need to box Lopez from the outside and find a way not to engage him too much when he tries to make it a dog fight. Fortunately, Conlan has sparred with partners who have styles similar to Lopez like Harlem Eubank.

As the odds indicate, Conlan has a favorable shot at establishing his game plan. He’ll have to bo while evading Lopez in what should be a drawn-out war per the totals, set at over 10.5 rounds (-300). It should be a crowd-pleasing spectacle in this Saturday’s boxing schedule.

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