Adam Booth reveals he was initially underwhelmed by Mick Conlan


Mick Conlan relocated to London at the start of the year following five pro fights and a storied amateur career.

The Belfast featherweight linked up with Adam Booth, a trainer that has led Irishmen Ryan Burnett and Andy Lee to world titles, and has since won three fights on the spin.

Booth, however, has admitted that, initially, he was slightly underwhelmed by Conlan [8(5)-0], who relocated from The Rock Gym in L.A. and aggressive Mexican-American coach Manny Robles.

The 26-year-old had arrived to his London gym as the top prospect in the Top Rank stable and receiving a substantial promotional push following an amateur career packed with both medals and controversy.

‘The Dark Lord’ Booth is not one for massaging egos, however, and has revealed that he was brutally honest with Conlan at the start of their relationship.

Speaking on the Sky Sports Ringside Toe2Toe Podcast, Booth recalled how he “said to Michael when he first started [in Boxing Booth Gym] that I had heard about his reputation but that the fighter I’m looking at in front of me doesn’t match the reputation I’m hearing.”

Conlan and Booth have worked together over the past ten months and the former trainer of David Haye and George Groves among others is impressed with the development.

He described how “we’ve been working long and hard for quite a little bit of time now and there’s always these moments in time where things start to fall into place and, with Michael, there’s quite a few things that have dropped into place over the last month or two.”

“I’m now excited because I can see that it’s now time for Michael to take big steps towards Top 15-ranked opponents and that’s down to Top Rank to match him.”

Known for his straight-talking, Booth’s tough love for Conlan is tempered by his huge praise for the Olympic bronze medallist.

The English coach explained that “I’m excited about Michael Conlan’s career, I think he’s an excellent young fighter, genuinely a world class prospect, and it’s another little journey that’s going to be an exciting ride.”

Conlan today jetted out to Las Vegas ahead of his ninth professional fight.

The Falls Road fighter takes on former Italian champion Nicola Cipolleta in an eight-rounder on the Ryota Murata v Rob Brant undercard at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Saturday October 20th.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie