Home Boxing News Road warrior Luis Alberto Lopez ready to do the business against Michael...

Road warrior Luis Alberto Lopez ready to do the business against Michael Conlan on Saturday night

Luis Alberto Lopez and Michael Conlan. Photo credit: Gabriel Rivas/Top Rank

IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez 27-2 (15) says he wants to unify the division after he defeats Michael Conlan 18-1 (9) at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday night.

The 29-year-old Mexican is coming off a majority decision victory over Josh Warrington in Leeds last December that saw him claim the red belt.

“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 and, after beating Michael Conlan, I will go for the next world champs,” Lopez said.

Lopez says he is expecting a hostile environment, but added he is comfortable with the sort of pressure.

“I am used to this type of environment, I am used to traveling 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,” he said.

“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.”

For Ireland’s Conlan, 31, a win will prove he truly does belong at the world class level after being knocked out in the 12th round of his contest against Leigh Wood in March last year.

Conlan has since bounced back with two victories against lesser opponents at the same venue and knows the crowd will be on his side.

“I’m just excited, really excited about Saturday night,” Conlan said. “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 okay, 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’.”