Michael Conlan ‘conscious and stable’ after brutal knockout by Leigh Wood sends him crashing out of ring

This, however, was a sobering moment, as the decorated former amateur star met an opponent who refused to buckle after being dropped very heavily himself in the closing seconds of the opening round. 

Floored, Wood stayed in the contest with the heart of a lion, looking to force it into a dogfight and advance his physicality
over the smart skills of the southpaw Conlan, who was ahead on the cards.

At the end of the eighth round, Wood took four left hands and just walked through them. His resilience, as Conlan carved and connived, was unbreakable. 

That took the home fighter into the late, late rounds and Conlan was clearly tiring. Down in the 11th, though claiming it
was a slip, Conlan was beginning to deplete. 

As Wood continued his assaults into the final round, Conlan caved. In what was a brutal classic, its sudden denouement came with seconds to spare for Wood, who was clearly behind on the cards and desperate for a stoppage, as both men gave everything. 

Wood drew on home support, and this late, late victory was reminiscent of fellow Nottingham boxing star Carl Froch when he stunningly knocked out Jermain Taylor in the United States in 2009 with 14 seconds remaining, having been well behind on the judges’ cards.

Fortunately, ringside assistance came swiftly and, thankfully, there was decorum from within the ring by the winner and
his team; Wood retaining his WBA world featherweight title. 

Before the news of Conlan’s wellbeing emerged, Wood reacted with concern for his opponent when interviewed ringside by broadcasters DAZN.

“First of all I want to say I hope Michael is alright. I can’t really celebrate until I know he’s alright, my thoughts are with him,” said Wood. “I hit him with everything, but he’s so tough. I’m just thinking about Mick now. It was a bad knockout.”

The Nottingham fighter is a dangerous man in the featherweight division and could now face the winner of the fight between Spaniard Kiko Martinez and Josh Warrington, from Leeds, on March 26.