Adam Booth doesn’t believe Michael Conlan is ready for a world title shot just yet

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Adam Booth doesn’t believe Michael Conlan is ready for a world title shot just yet.

The coach, who cornered successful world title wins for Andy Lee and Ryan Burnett, doesn’t doubt the Belfast fighter has the talent to achieve his world title ambitions, rather he feels the timing isn’t quiet right.

‘The Dark Lord’ believes Conlan, who recently defeated Vladimir Nikitin in front of the biggest American cable television audience for any fight in 2019, has a few more tricks of the pro trade to learn before he takes on the world elite.

Booth points out there a some ‘sloppy mistakes’ to be ironed out but is confident the talented former amateur standout will become the finished article soon.

“No not yet,” Booth told iFLTV when asked if Conlan was ready for a world title shot.

“I want to see him add a few more things. I want to see him make transitions in fights without making some sloppy mistakes.”

Booth wasn’t being honest rather than downbeat post the Rio redemption mission at the Garden. David Haye’s former coach just believes there is degrees of learning still to be done.

“Absolutely, if you see what he does in the gym,” he responded when asked if he felt Conlan could become world champion.

“The reason they have these fights is to gradually transition the things they are working on in the gym to fight night, to do it under the spotlight with eight ounce gloves and no head guard. I thought tonight he did somethings he hadn’t done before as a pro.

“I know he isn’t the finished product and so does he, but with his amateur grade and his professional outlook I see him getting a lot better still.”

The London based trainer was more than impressed with the 28-year-old’s victory over the Russian, saving particular praise for how the featherweight dealt with the pressure and emotion of the night.

“He did a good job because it was an easy one for him to get emotional with, but he out boxed him, he out fought him on the inside, he hurt him a couple of times and he got a big win. A win were emotionally he can move on and get to the next level.

“I do think tonight,with all the emotion involved and the fact that Nikitin is a strong rugid dude, that when you go close to him he’ll punch like a crazy man, I thought Michael did an excellent job.”

Team Conlan made a conscious choice to avoid any ‘what’s next’ talk. The last outing was about getting a win over Nikitin, off loading any heavy Rio baggage and enjoying the moment.

Although it has been rumoured the Top Rank fighter will face a tough test on St Patrick’s Day and if he comes through will challenge for a world title in August.

When pushed on future plans Booth wouldn’t be pushed.

“I don’t know. We agreed as a team that we wouldn’t discuss anything about the next opponent until this was out of the way because there was so much emotional baggage attached tonight.”


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: