Talks are ongoing for newly crowned IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez to make his first defense against Michael Conlan in Belfast, according to the head of Conlan Boxing, Jamie Conlan.

Jamie told Irish News that his brother may potentially face Lopez in May at the SSE Arena or June, possibly in Falls Park. The BBC reported that a date in April was also possible.

“We're in negotiations,” Jamie Conlan told Irish News. “There are a lot of moving parts but Lopez and Michael is the fight that we're working towards and we're close to making and it's looking more than likely that Belfast will be the place for the fight.”

Lopez captured the title last month with a hard-fought twelve round decision win over Josh Warrington in Leeds. Because of injuries sustained during the fight, Lopez would not be physically ready to face Conlan on St Patrick's Day.

“He is a fantastic world champion,” said Jamie. “He's a tough night's work. He is awkward, hard to prepare for, unorthodox, he throws punches from range and he's heavy-handed from the first bell to the last. He starts really fast and it's a dangerous fight.

“Stylistically for Michael it's a really tough fight but there are no easy fights for titles. Obviously all the talk last year after Michael and Leigh Wood was a rematch but it never materialized, and this is the route that has been presented to us now.”

Last year, Conlan attempted to capture the WBA title, but he was knocked out, in dramatic fashion, in the twelfth round of his action fight with Leigh Wood. He's bounced back with wins over Miguel Marriaga and Karim Guerfi.

“Michael learned a lot from the Wood fight, both in the ring and outside the ring,” said Jamie. “I think he's shown that in the two fights since in how he's dealt with hurting someone early and getting them out of there (Guerfi) and the way he dealt with understanding distance against a big power-puncher like Marriaga.

“He has learned a lot and I think learning that was probably the final piece of the puzzle to becoming a world champion. He learned it the hard way in the Wood fight but it's all behind him now and it'll do him the world of good coming into this world title fight.”