Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan Picks and Predictions: Conlan Delivers as Slim Favorite

Michael Conlan enters this weekend's bout as a slim -125 betting favorite and if he stays disciplined against Lopez's odd fighting style, we think he can take care of business — read more in our Lopez vs. Conlan preview below.

Last Updated: May 25, 2023 8:00 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Michael Conlan Boxing
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Michael Conlan gets another chance at a world title when the former Olympian challenges IBF champion Luis Alberto Lopez in a 12-round title fight this weekend at the SSE Hydro Arena in Belfast, Ireland.

It’s now or never for Conlan, who hopes that a home-field crowd will be enough to dethrone road warrior Lopez. Boxing odds have Conlan the favorite at -125, with Lopez defending his title as a +100 underdog.

Here are our free betting picks for Conlan vs. Lopez from Belfast.

Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan odds

Method of victory Luis Alberto Lopez Michael Conlan
Win outright +100 -125
Win by KO/TKO +320 +500
Win by points or decision +250 +140
Draw +1,400 +1,400

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of May 24, 2023.

Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan betting predictions

Picks made on May 24, 2023. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan betting preview

It’s hard to believe that Conlan is 31. He’s been developing very slowly since turning pro but was just moments away from winning a world title against Leigh Wood last year. Conlan was winning the fight, but Wood stayed on him and hurt him late, eventually knocking him out of the ring in the 12th round. Since then, Conlan has won back-to-back bouts against Miguel Marriaga and Karim Guerfi, both by stoppage.

Going into this fight, Conlan has noticeable advantages in height and reach and will have the benefit of a home crowd behind him. In addition, he's a good technical fighter with deceptive power despite having only nine knockouts in 18 wins. The Irishman is a busy worker who can deliver some devastating shots, but he often relies on his footwork and hand speed to carry the day.    

As scary as his KO loss to Wood was, he doesn’t show any ill effects in the fights that followed. He’ll need to use his 3.5-inch reach advantage to keep Lopez at bay and resist the urge to brawl it out once the champion closes the distance. Unlike Wood’s sneaky punching power, Lopez fires from unconventional angles to score his big shots, so Conlan’s best chance to win the title is to stay fleet-footed and move around the ring.

Lopez is not going to be fazed as a traveling underdog. If anything, he’s made a career of upsetting popular fighters on their turf, and he’s made it look easy for the most part. After taking a few losses early in his career, Lopez scored a string of upsets that earned him a shot against Josh Warrington last December. Warrington’s foul-filled offense was not enough to turn away a determined Lopez, who beat him in front of a hostile crowd.

When Lopez settles in offensively, he can wear his opponents out with a drawing style and clubbing shots. In close affairs, Lopez normally lands the harder-looking shots that could steal rounds, and he has a sturdy chin that can keep him up during fierce exchanges. He won’t back off, and his awkward style makes him difficult to measure.

Because Conlan will rely on his length and speed, Lopez must cut off the ring and exhaust his nimble foe. As long as Lopez isn’t defensively irresponsible, he should be able to stay fresh in the later rounds when Conlan begins to fade. While he's made a habit of winning on the road, Conlan’s boxing skills and physical talents might mean that Lopez needs to pull out all the stops to win.

Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan boxing prediction and best bet

Prediction: Michael Conlan ML

Admittedly, Conlan is the better technical fighter between the two and he isn’t going to take Lopez lightly. He might not be the biggest puncher, but he almost knocked Wood out in the first round and was mere moments away from winning a title. The mistakes he made in the Wood fight won’t be forgotten, so Conlan won’t be so eager to empty the cannons so early if he does manage to hurt the resilient Lopez.

Lopez will come forward to force a fight, but he won’t fare well if Conlan doesn’t oblige him. Ruben Villa outboxed him rather easily, adjusting to his awkwardness and winning with a measured approach. Conlan’s disciplined approach should be enough to overcome Lopez’s odd style.

Prediction: Michael Conlan moneyline (-125 at DraftKings)

Best bet: Michael Conlan by decision

Conlan isn’t likely to hurt Lopez as he did with Wood, and even if he does, he shouldn’t get carried away. This should be a workmanlike performance, boosted by a home crowd that will amplify every punch he lands. \

While there will be some dicey moments — mainly due to Lopez’s rough approach — he should bank enough early rounds to win a decision.

Prediction: Michael Conlan by decision (+140 at DraftKings)

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