Mick Conlan [1(1)-0] is the sort of character who invites pressure – but even he admits that the weight on his shoulders going into his professional debut was something else.
Headlining at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Conlan compelled an army of Irish fans to travel across the Atlantic for he St Patrick’s Day show.
With a sell-out crowd packed into the venue and Top Rank describing how he will be the new face of boxing – not to mention all the general differences and uncertainties faced by each and every new pro – Conlan was understandably feeling the heat.
Indeed the Belfast super bantamweight believes that this contributed to a sub-par performance in his stoppage victory over Tim Ibarra.
While Conlan put away the American inside three rounds, he felt it was far from his best. So much so, the Falls Road fighter dropped an F bomb in the post fight interviews – albeit a slightly different one than in the tirade following his Olympic elimination.
Conlan said last night that “I would give my performance an ‘F’ if I had to give it a score. I didn’t think I performed well but it’s to be expected.”
The 25 year old explained that “you can’t help your emotions when you get in there. You just want to impress and perform.” Who has a debut like this and has this kind of pressure?”
“It was nerve wracking but I think I handled the pressure well for my debut fight,”
That said, Conlan was still overjoyed with the debut win and the accompanying atmosphere. He described how “tonight was something I never experienced before and even if I fight for a world title, I have that world title atmosphere for me. So I’m happy with how things went.”