Who will win Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan - big fight verdict and suggested bets
Michael Conlan is setting his sights on the IBF featherweight title as he prepares to square off with Luis Alberto Lopez.
The 31-year-old, who suffered a TKO defeat to Leigh Wood last year, bounced back with successive victories over Miguel Marriaga and Karim Guerfi.
Conlan will enter the SSE Arena in Belfast as bookies favourite as he looks to continue his winning run.
Lopez, on the other hand, will be intent on replicating his title-winning performance from last December.
The Mexican took on Josh Warrington for the IBF crown in Leeds and despite the rowdy atmosphere, he was able to walk away as the winner thanks to a majority decision.
Lopez is in the midst of a 10-fight winning run, last facing defeat against Ruben Villa back in 2019.
The defending champion has an impressive record of 27-2 - with 15 knockouts to his name.
Speaking at the press conference, Lopez told the media: "I have already beaten up all the prospects and fighters Top Rank have given to me so, on this Saturday night, I want to prove to everyone that I am a true champion. After beating Michael Conlan, I will go for the next world champs.
"I am used to this type of environment, I am used to travelling and this is my third time here in the UK. Everybody wants to see me lose but, don't forget, I am the world champion.
"Every time they tell me that I am going to lose, that I am going to be knocked out, but when I jump into the ring there are two of us and I am used to it. I am going to be taking the victory."
Conlan, who is 18-1, came up short when he last challenged for the world title against Wood.
Nevertheless, he remains confident he can get the job done in front of his home fans.
He said: "I'm just excited, really excited about Saturday night. I thank Luis for coming to Belfast, I appreciate it, but on Saturday night I will be champion.
"I have experienced a lot of atmospheres throughout my career now, very mad, crazy atmospheres and Saturday night will be no different. I know how to handle it now.
"He plans to end it quickly, but I know he has changed trainers a few times during this training camp and there are probably things going on with him. I don't think he truly believes that, he is saying it for the cameras and that is ok, no problem.
"I respect him as a fighter, I respect his opinion, but on Saturday night I will be champion. I am expecting the best Luis Alberto, he is going to bring everything and try and come in and knock me out.
"I am prepared for everything he is going to do, I have ticked every box I need to tick and I am very confident going into this fight.
"It is a pleasure to have this in Belfast, but I know it doesn't mean too much because Luis travels well. I believe on Saturday night it will be 'and the new'."
Looking at the betting, our recommendation is to back Conlan to win on points.
The Belfast native came up short in his last world title bid, but with the home crowd behind him, don't be surprised to see the 31-year-old holding the IBF title by the end of the night.
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