IRELAND’s Mick Conlan suffered a devastating loss to Luis Alberto Lopez in Belfast tonight.
Champion Lopez knocked out Conlan in the fifth as he retained the IBF World featherweight title in front of boisterous SSE Arena crowd.
Michael Conlan in action against Luis Alberto Lopez during their IBF Featherweight World Title bout at the SSE Arena in Belfast
Michael Conlan makes his way to the ring before the IBF Featherweight World Title bout at the SSE Arena in Belfast
Luis Alberto Lopez knocks out Michael Conlan to retain his IBF strap
Michael Conlan and Luis Alberto Lopez during their IBF Featherweight World Title bout at the SSE Arena in Belfast
The Falls Road man’s came out to a rapturous reception from the Belfast crowd but it wasn’t to be in his second attempt to win a world title.
And the hometown hero came out pumped on the attack as the opening round started at a furious pace.
Both landed crisp shots on one another as they varied their offence with solid jabs and body shots with both men having their moments in a close opener.
The SSE Arena erupted in the second round as Conlan fought superbly off the front foot, and landed a huge overhand right as he pilled the pressure on Lopez.
In the third round, the 31-year-old 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner ate a huge right uppercut, followed by a left hook that staggered him badly with 60 seconds left in the the third round as the Mexican upped the pace.
But somehow Conlan managed to survive the round despite being on rubbery legs after some huge shots.
The superb and powerful Lopez proceeded to up the tone as he planted more shots on the Irishman in the forth round, landing some huge shots with a varied repertoire.
29-year-old Lopez took the forth as he came more and more into the fight with Conlan struggling badly as his face swelled up.
The Mexicali ace clearly sniffed a finish as his precise strikes constantly found a home, and like that it was over as the champion ended the fight at 1:14 of the fifth round.
Lopez planted a huge shot on Conlan as the Belfast man crashed to the canvas.
Immediately after the devastating right-uppercut landed, Conlan’s coach Adam Booth threw in the towel as the fight was waived off.
Mexico now hold a 10-2 advantage over Irish fighters in world title bouts after Lopez retained his crown.
It’s a huge blow from the 2012 Olympian as he lost out in his previous world title attempt after being knocked out by Leigh Wood in Nottingham last year.
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Willo Hayden bt Jordan Ellison – Pts 59-55
Conor Quinn bt Juan Hinostroza – Pts 80-72
Kurt Walker bt Maicol Velazco – Pts 60-54
Pierce O’Leary bt Alin Florin Ciorceri – 1st round KO
Anthony Cacace bt Damian Wrzesinski – Pts, 118-111, 117-111, 116-112