Michael Conlan maintained his sense of humor in the emotional aftermath of his devastating defeat to Leigh Wood on Saturday night.
Conlan called for a rematch with Wood through his Twitter account in the wee hours of Sunday morning. He was listed in stable condition at a local hospital after a frightening fall out of the ring in the 12th round, which brought an emphatic end to their fantastic action fight at Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England.
Northern Ireland’s Conlan was unconscious when he fell backward, out of the ring and onto the arena floor. The Belfast native’s nasty spill caused a long delay before Wood was announced as the winner of a main event DAZN streamed worldwide.
Nottingham’s Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) made his first defense of the WBA world featherweight title in what developed into a very competitive fight before Wood scored a TKO win. The 30-year-old Conlan (16-1, 8 KOs), who was the mandatory challenger for Wood’s 126-pound championship, was ahead on all three scorecards entering that fateful 12th round.
Coming so close to realizing his dream to become a world champion made Conlan call for a second shot at Wood’s title.
“Definitely want a rematch lol,” Conlan wrote in a Tweet that was issued from his verified Twitter account, @mickconlan11.
Judges Leszek Jankowiak (105-102), Guillermo Perez Pineda (104-103) and Bob Williams (104-103) all had Conlan ahead of Wood on their cards through 11 rounds.
Conlan surprisingly dropped Wood with a left hand that sent him flat on his back just before the bell sounded to end the first round. Wood was badly hurt by that shot and walked back to his corner on shaky legs.
Another left hand by Conlan rocked Wood just 40 seconds into the second round. Wood was able to withstand Conlan’s onslaught in that second round, too.
The champion eventually regained his legs and changed the course of their “Fight of the Year” candidate. The 33-year-old Wood scored a knockdown when his left hook made Conlan fall to the canvas just before the 11th round concluded.
Conlan argued to referee Steve Gray that his trip to the canvas should’ve been ruled a slip. Though Conlan’s legs came out from under him, Wood clearly connected with a punch during that sequence.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.