Not the kind of statement a trainer would want their fighter to be hearing too often just over a week shy of a World title tilt but, considering those are Conlan’s own words, there is not too much Danny Vaughan can do.
‘The Mexican’ challenges Jerwin Ancajas [27(18)-1(0)-1] for the IBF super flyweight championship of the World in Belfast this Saturday and admits he faces one of the best fighter in a supremely strong division.
“I believe he’s better than [WBA Champion] Kal Yafai,” Conlan told RingTV.
“I believe he is the second best in the division with [WBO Champion] Naoya Inoue being the best. I don’t think he’s the weakest champion,” added the Belfast boxer, implying that he holds Ancajas in higher regard than WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai or the current version of Chocolatito Gonzalez.
“He is a great fighter. To be a world champion in the super flyweight division says something about you. It’s the toughest I’ve seen in the world at the moment.”
It might unnerve some to hear Conlan praise his opponent, but those close to the popular fighter will know he isn’t one for trash talk, nor is he afraid of a challenge.
The older brother of Top Rank star Mick is aware he faces a tough challenge on November 18th at the SSE Odyssey Arena, but has more previous with tough than most fighters and always managed to come out on top.
“I’ve dealt with the hand dealt in previous fights where I’ve been down and had to get up, been cut and can’t see for 2-3 rounds and been able to handle that environment where everything was crazy. It’s waters I’ve swam in, I’m very familiar with it,” Conlan added.
Ancajas won’t be familiar with his surroundings on Saturday in the Titanic City and the hostile home crowd will all be new for the Filipino fighter – and that Conlan believes could be his one advantage.
“He comes now to a hostile, volatile cauldron in Belfast. When he enters the arena with 10,000 Irishmen supporting their own, it’ll be a lot harder when 10,000 people are shouting.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)