The Belfast featherweight dominated Spaniard Ibon Larrinaga last night in Madison Square Garden on the Linares-Lomachenko undercard but the fight itself was rather underwhelming.
On paper, Larrinaga looked to be the toughest opponent of Conlan’s pro career so far but, after a few sharp punches from the Irishman in the opening round, he retreated into his shell and was on the defensive for the entirety of the eight-round contest.
Conlan, with Adam Booth in the corner for the second time, stayed composed and boxed his way to a wide scorecards win, going past the sixth round for the first time in the process.
It was a case of “job done” for the 26-year-old.
While he can appreciate that the bout was by no means a ‘wasted fight’ he is now keen to move towards his homecoming fight in Belfast when he will top a card at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday June 30th.
Conlan described how “I didn’t put in an amazing performance last night but it just makes me want to get straight back in the gym and start getting ready for Belfast. I’m going to put on a great show.”
“Every fighter wants to look spectacular every time but when I look back, I’ll know that the Larrinaga fight stood me in good stead. It’s a lot more difficult to fight someone who’s just trying to survive than it is to face a better opponent coming to win.
“I’m still learning and improving. Although I was frustrated at times, I took things away from it such as discipline. I practiced some things we’d been working on in the gym and it’s good to get some rounds in.”
Conlan will certainly face as step-up next month when he takes on Adeilson Dos Santos [19(15)-4(2)], with a rankings title from one of the four major governing bodies said to be on the line.
The Brazilian brings a big punch and only last year challenged former Conlan gym-mate Jessie Magdaleno for the WBO super bantamweight title, being stopped in the second round.
An aggressive opponent that should provide the Olympic bronze medallist with his desired opportunities to counter, Conlan explained how “the better the opponent I face, the better I become.”
“I’m dying for an opponent to come towards me. I want to face someone who’s trying to win in Belfast.”
“Belfast will be a lot different…”