When Leigh Wood talks about the “inevitable” what he means is the stunning final-round finish he produced with his right hand. More specifically, though, the “inevitable” to which he refers has everything to do with the power Wood possesses and has exhibited late on in recent fights.
“It was a shot we drilled,” he said. “When Mick goes to the ropes, he does this old-school guard where he goes right to left with his glove, trying to block stuff. So I flicked it away with my left hand, then nailed him with my right hand once he stopped.
“We literally drilled that hundreds of times. Ben was screaming that to me two rounds before then. If you look at Ben when Mick’s holding me, he’s gesturing for me to do that when he’s against the ropes.
“I was pushing him back and he was very fatigued, which was down to the body work. I feinted, which was all part of the drill, flicked that left up top, he stopped moving, and then I nailed him.”
A fight better to win than lose, just as it was a fight better to watch than endure, it will be interesting now to see whether Wood and Conlan meet again for seconds at some stage in the future. Of the two, Conlan, for obvious reasons, seems the more eager to make the rematch happen, and soon rather than later, whereas Wood, the man in the driver’s seat, appears content to first assess his options, yet remains open to the idea of facing Conlan next year.
“When you come through a fight like that – a real test of endurance, character, heart, guts – there’s no better feeling,” he said. “It’s the best feeling.
“I couldn’t have got off to a worse start, so I’m confident I would do a better job in the rematch. I’m also confident the rematch will happen in a few fights’ time. It depends what else is available. I want to get this (WBA ‘regular’ featherweight) belt situation sorted, and also there is the possibility of some other fights. But then, who knows? We’ll take it from there.”