MICHAEL CONLAN believes he can use a variety of methods to beat Luis Alberto Lopez on Saturday night.
The two will meet at Belfast’s SSE Arena for the Mexican’s featherweight world championship.
For Conlan this represents his second shot at such a prize having fallen short against Leigh Wood in March 2022.
Lopez brings a not-so-traditional Mexican style to the table while Conlan has a world class skillset crafted during a stellar amateur career.
His Northern Irish compatriot and former two-weight champion Carl Frampton interviewed Conlan for BT Sport recently and asked him how he thought the fight will play out.
“I see me winning by any means necessary,” he said.
“I can see me stopping him, I can see me beating him on points. I’ve seen every kind of outcome and it’s just a Michael Conlan win. I don’t care what way I do it. I’ll try to do it nice and clean, make it a boring fight but he’s the type of fighter who can change that and does his own thing. It’s up to me to fight my fight, do it the right way and win it comfortably.”
Lopez won his belt by beating Josh Warrington in Leeds five months ago. His majority decision win was a deserved one and proved how unpredictable he can be throughout a fight.
Conlan paid tribute to the Mexican’s success but knows what lies in wait.
“It’s not an easy fight. I’m in there with a great champion, a road warrior who has went and done it the hard way for most of his fights.
“He’s coming to defend his belt in Belfast, full of confidence after beating Josh Warrington in a very hostile environment in Leeds. He’s very awkward, very unorthodox but I think his biggest attributes will be his biggest weaknesses.”
Since turning professional in March 2017 with Top Rank Conlan has carried expectations from an entire nation. The pressure is something he is used to but having lost to Wood the stakes are now higher for Saturday’s bout.
“It’s a must-win, no doubt about it.,” he said.
“The Leigh Wood loss is probably going to be the best thing that happened to me because it set this up perfectly.
“I’ve learned so much about myself as a fighter, as a person, [and] how to bounce back from things. It’s the right time and it’s happened at the right time. I’m 31, [but] I don’t feel like I’m 31. I think now athletes can actually go further. I feel I’m in that position now, probably at my peak of my powers physically and mentally.”