eigh Wood battles Michael Conlan in Nottingham on Saturday night in a difficult opening defence of his WBA world featherweight title.
The 33-year-old has held the belt since realising his world title dream with a dramatic 12th-round stoppage of China’s Xu Can at Matchroom Fight Camp last summer.
Wood (25-2) now faces another stern test against Ireland’s hugely popular London 2012 bronze medalist ‘Mick’ Conlan, who has reeled off 16 successive wins since turning professional with Top Rank in the aftermath of his controversial exit – since avenged – from the Beijing Olympics.
The Belfast boxer dominated TJ Doheny on home soil at Falls Park last August, earning the WBA interim title with a wide decision victory.
A unification bout against the winner of the March 26 clash between Josh Warrington and IBF champion Kiko Martinez likely awaits the victor here, or potentially even a meeting with “super” WBA belt holder Leo Santa Cruz.
Wood vs Conlan date, start time, venue and ring walks
Wood vs Conlan takes place on Saturday March 12, 2022 at Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.
Ring walks for the headline fight of the evening are expected no earlier than 10pm GMT. The undercard is due to begin at 7pm.
Wood vs Conlan fight card/undercard in full
Leigh Wood vs Michael Conlan
Gary Cully vs Miguel Vazquez
Terri Harper vs Yamila Belen Abellaneda
Caoimhin Agyarko vs Juan Carlos Rubio
Sandy Ryan vs Erica Anabella Farias
Thomas Whittaker Hart vs Simon Krebs
Thomas Carty vs Michal Boloz
Nico Leivars vs Jose Hernandez
How to watch Wood vs Conlan
TV channel: Wood vs Conlan is being broadcast live on sports video streaming service DAZN. A subscription to DAZN currently costs £7.99 a month in the UK.
Live stream: You can also follow all the action as it happens with Standard Sport’s live fight night blog.
Wood vs Conlan fight prediction
This is an extremely tough first defence for Wood and could well turn out to be his only one.
Conlan is a massively skilled operator who deserves to have a far bigger reputation among casual boxing fans in this country and will be out to make a statement on Saturday night, becoming a world champion for the first time aged 30.
The vastly experienced Wood rose to the occasion so impressively on an unforgettable night last summer, but we’re backing Conlan to dethrone the champion by unanimous decision.
Wood vs Conlan weigh-in
Wood and Conlan both made the featherweight limit at a feisty weigh-in on Friday, with the champion at 125.8lbs and his challenger just two ounces lighter.
Wood vs Conlan betting odds
Wood win: 11/8
Conlan win: 4/7
Wood win on points or by decision: 10/3
Wood win by KO, TKO or DQ: 7/2
Conlan win on points or by decision: Evens
Conlan win by KO, TKO or DQ: 5/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).