Leigh Wood stuns Michael Conlan with dramatic 12th-round stoppage
Leigh Wood produced one of the most stunning comebacks ever seen in a boxing ring as he retained his WBA featherweight crown with a gutsy last-round stoppage over Michael Conlan from Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, England.
After being dropped in the opening session and then hurt throughout the bout, Wood gave himself a fighting chance in the penultimate stanza as he dropped Conlan. It was a moment that would set up an unforgettable finish.
With both fighters going on the attack in the final three minutes, Wood found the shot that he needed as he had Conlan on the ropes. The Irishman fell backwards between the ropes and landed just in front of those sitting ringside. Wood celebrated frantically, but his jovial mood was soon watered down as he demonstrated brilliant sportsmanship to show compassion for his opponent.
Instead of focusing on a great fight, the immediate aftermath of a grueling battle turned to the welfare of Conlan. The outstanding amateur left the ringside area on a stretcher and the post-fight interviews centred on his recovery.
The incident overshadowed a truly remarkable fight that will go down as one of the best ever inside a British ring. Conlan started superbly as he floored Wood with a well-placed left hand at the end of the opening round. His skills were on display throughout as he ran into a healthy lead, but the final two rounds, both belonging to Wood, were the key moments in a contest that had so many.
Looking ahead, Wood can get excited about potential clashes with Josh Warrington, Kiko Martinez and Leo Santa Cruz. But, for now, like everyone else, his first priority will be the full recovery of Conlan. The challenger gave so much in a fantastic see-saw bout, and the entire boxing community are wishing him nothing but best wishes.
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