Leigh Wooden retained the WBA featherweight title on Saturday night time in essentially the most exceptional of boxing contests, sending Michael Conlan by way of the ropes within the ultimate spherical after climbing off the canvas himself within the first body.
There was loads of assist for residence fighter Wooden on the Nottingham Area, and the champion began impressively by intermittently touchdown spiteful hooks to the physique of Conlan, however the struggle seemed set to be brief lived when the challenger floored Wooden on the bell on the finish of Spherical 1.
Conlan seemed low however threw a left hand excessive to ship Wooden crashing to the canvas, and the resilience required by the Englishman to make it again to his ft and into Spherical 2 was solely constructed upon because the bout progressed.
Conlan, who sustained a minimize attributable to an unintentional conflict of heads, rocked Wooden with a heavy left hook within the second spherical, leaving the champion desperately hanging on.
Olympic bronze medalist Conlan boxed well all through the subsequent few rounds, selecting his photographs correctly along with his again towards the ropes, as Wooden discovered occasional success to the physique of his undefeated opponent however more and more forcing punches and chasing Conlan.
Southpaw Conlan had begun the struggle standing orthodox however was switching forwards and backwards between stances, irritating Wooden, who suffered a minimize round his eye in comparable style to his challenger.
Conlan was stunting any momentum that Wooden may create, however the hometown fighter continued to press ahead valiantly.
Wooden, 33, put collectively his finest spell late in Spherical 10, by some means rallying to the physique of Conlan after consuming a sequence of bruising left hooks.
The champion then scored a debatable knockdown of his 30-year-old opponent – who believed he had merely slipped – within the eleventh body.
Once more the second got here towards the chances, with Conlan having put Wooden beneath immense stress simply moments earlier and having gave the impression to be on the verge of a end.
The enthralling contest got here to a head early within the twelfth and ultimate spherical, when Wooden despatched Conlan tumbling by way of the ropes with a vicious knockout.
The Englishman’s wild celebrations shortly became muted ones, as Wooden and his coach Ben Davison urged a chaotic crowd to relax and permit paramedics to are inclined to Conlan.
The Irishman was fitted with an oxygen masks and brought out of the sector in an ambulance, with Wooden saying: “I hope Michael’s alright. I can’t actually rejoice but till I do know Michael’s alright. I simply can’t get Mick off my thoughts.”
Broadcaster DAZN later stated Conlan had been transported to hospital in an ambulance, with Matchroom Boxing CEO Frank Smith clarifying that the Irishman was “aware and steady”.
The consequence, which marked Wooden’s first defence of his featherweight title, took the hometown fighter’s report to 26-2 (16 KOs), whereas Conlan (16-1, 8 KOs) suffered the primary defeat of his skilled profession.
Full card outcomes
Leigh Wooden (C) def. Michael Conlan (WBA featherweight title)
Caoimhin Agyarko (C) def. Juan Carlos Rubio (WBA Worldwide middleweight title)
Terri Harper def. Yamila Belen Abellaneda (vacant WBA Intercontinental girls’s light-weight title)
Gary Cully vs Miguel Vazquez (light-weight)
Erica Anabella Farias def. Sandy Ryan (super-lightweight)
Thomas Whittaker-Hart def. Simon Krebs (light-heavyweight)
Thomas Carty def. Michal Boloz (heavyweight)
Nico Leivars def. Jose Hernandez (featherweight)