TV schedule, UK fight time and full undercard for Wood vs Conlan and the latest on Joshua-Usyk

“Boxing Tonight” is i‘s weekly look ahead to the Saturday night action in the UK and beyond, with the details on how to watch and what to look out for

Michael Conlan has often walked a fine line. An Olympic bronze medallist, one of Ireland’s foremost amateur fighters, now an unbeaten professional, the Belfast featherweight will tread carefully as he bids to dethrone WBA “regular” champion Leigh Wood at the first time of asking in Nottingham.

Conlan’s career has not been without its controversies, but he stands well-poised to seize the belt Wood won with a shock victory over Xu Can last summer.

As valiant a performance as it was from “Leigh-thal”, trainer Ben Davison deserved much of the credit. Nobody expected him to knock Xu out, let alone outbox him, and it might have gone under the radar had Conor Benn’s WBA continental welterweight fight against Adrian Granados (which was originally supposed to be the headline) not been called off.

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Instead, there were plenty of admirers as Wood pulled off the upset and he now heads for a rare night of action in Nottingham, deprived for so long of the top fights.

Conlan won’t be looking to evade him, but he will be reliant on his superior movement. Wood might be a big puncher but the former amateur world champion is arguably smarter and has a 50 per cent knockout rate of his own.

“Muhammad Ali could be in my weight, it wouldn’t bother me,” Conlan once boasted in an interview that was not atypical of his confidence. This is his game; he has been boxing since the age of seven.

Like Wood, he has successfully made the step up from super-bantamweight and heads into this challenge off the back of a successful homecoming in Falls Park last summer, when he won the vacant WBA interim featherweight title, beating TJ Doheny. He looks to inflict a third defeat on Wood, the last coming against Jazza Dickens in February 2020.

If Wood does secure the win, he could face an all-British clash next against Josh Warrington, so long as the Leeds Warrior overcomes Kiko Martinez at the end of March.

Wood vs Conlan details

  • Date: Saturday 12 March
  • Venue: Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
  • fight time: Ring walks for the main event are expected around 10.15pm UK time
  • TV/live stream: DAZN, with subscriptions from £7.99 a month
  • Undercard highlights: Former lightweight world champion Miguel Vazquez faces Gary Cully (so far unbeaten, but keeping that record will be a big ask) in the co-main event
  • i predictions: There was a feeling at the time that Wood’s title win had come a little too early for him and it will be a very tough first defence; we’re backing Conlan to win by unanimous decision

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Any other business

With British boxing still overshadowed by the fallout from Josh Taylor’s controversial split decision win over Jack Catterall in Glasgow in February, Conlan insists he has no fears about fighting in front of UK judges – not least because they will be under the spotlight.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) has downgraded one of the judges from that fight, Ian John-Lewis, denying that his scorecard of 114-111 in Taylor’s favor affected the result but taking issue with the margin of victory.

“The board has contacted the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA, supporting Jack Catterall to be made mandatory challenger for each or all championship sanctioning bodies,” a statement added. Catterall dismissed the decision, saying it was “not good enough”.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who is the local MP for Chorley where Catterall is from, has referred the matter to the police.

In lighter news, Anthony Joshua has laughed off suggestions he could fight Otto Wallin this summer as he looks for an interim bout while he waits on Oleksandr Usyk’s return from fighting in Ukraine. Wallin once impressed against Tyson Fury (helped massively by cutting the current WBC champion early on) and was scheduled to fight Dillian Whyte in October, before the Body Snatcher pulled out through injury.

But Wallin was uninspiring against Kamil Sokołowski in Cardiff earlier this year and simply doesn’t fit the bill.

The other major news of the week concerns Canelo’s next opponent, Dmitry Bivol, who is supposed to be fighting the Mexican in May. Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko are leading calls for the WBA to ban their light-heavyweight world champion, who is based in Russia – but as yet there is little clarity as to whether he will be allowed to compete as planned.

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