Belfast, Ireland - On Saturday night, Luis Alberto Lopez (28-2, 16 KOs) retained the IBF featherweight championship when he blasted out Irish Olympian Michael Conlan (18-2, 9 KOs) in the fifth round.

The contest began at a rapid pace, with both boxers throwing quick punches from round to round. Lopez began to rattle Conlan with punches starting in the third round.

Lopez capture the title back in December, when he traveled to Leeds to win a tough decision over hometown champion Josh Warrington.

The next step for Lopez is a unification with one of the other beltholders at the weight - like WBA champion Leigh Wood, who became a two-time champion, also on Saturday night, when he decisioned Mauricio Lara in Manchester.

According to Lara's handlers, he wants to unify the entire division before making a move to the super featherweight limit of 130-pounds to pursue other titles.

"He now needs a good rest as he also has a baby on board, but he wants all the belts at 126 and then jump to the 130s," Lopez's manager Luis 'Kiki' Magana told BT Sport.

"I knew that 'Venado' had a really good training camp. He made the adjustments for Michael Conlan. We knew he is a local hero and is strong, fast with good footwork. We knew he would be tough and had to look in the first round to see his plan. 

"He's a southpaw and the facts are that we got really good southpaw sparring in Las Vegas, similar to Michael Conlan, but could he find similar sparring to Venado? I don't think so. He really wanted this fight to prove to the people he's a true warrior and champion, so we are really pleased."