Road Warrior Luis Alberto Lopez has never stepped into a town like Belfast along his travels warns Jamie Conlan.
The Mexican comes to the home of Irish boxing on May 27 and puts his IBF featherweight title on the line against Michael Conlan.
The world champion has been vocal about not fearing the away day, pointing out that history proves he doesn’t suffer from travel sickness. He also points to his most recent win, a world title win over Josh Warrington in front of a passionate Leeds crowd, as proof he is at home in the Lion’s Den.
However, Conlan is adamant Leeds is not Belfast and Conlan is not Warrington.
The former world title challenger and current Conlan Boxing CEO says out that Belfast is a boxing city full of fans who know how important a role they can play in a fight.
“Belfast is a true boxing city, it understands boxers, it understands away fighters and home fighters. It gets behind its own. When the going gets tough, it doesn’t go shy,” Conlan told Irish-boxing.com.
“[Lopez] started really fast and he quietened the Leeds faithful down pretty quickly. They only got back into it when Warrington put pressure on, this will be different. Belfast will be loud whether rounds are going for or against and they will know when Mick might need them.
“We are boxing city. Leeds is a football city not a boxing city.”
Conlan expects the Mexican half of an all Top Rank clash to come full of chat in a bid to get under the skin of the challenger.
Indeed, the former Commonwealth title winner thinks Lopez, who has won away against Andy Vences and Isaac Lowe, may just go, full panto villain, come May
“I think he is looking to ignite a bit of back and forth between himself and Michael. He wants to be the pantomime villain, he thrives off that. He enjoys that position he did it in Leeds. I think he thrives off that wee bit of bite toward him. Warrington got sucked into his game and was biting with him. “