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Andre Ward praises Conlan but reveals where improvements need to be made

Michael Conlan does need to figure out why he isn’t stopping fighters he is dominating, but shouldn’t be overly worried because he is “right where he needs to be” at this stage of his career says none other than Future Hall of Famer Andre Ward.

Multi-weight world champion and a fighter regarded as one of the best in his era was working ringside for ESPN when the former world amateur champion out pointed Ruben Garcia Hernandez at the Madison Square Garden Theater on St Patrick’s Day.

Ward was impressed with the ambitious Belfast puncher, who should return to the ring on alongside Tyson Fury in Las Vegas on June 8.

The recently retired former super middleweight stand out does think the Top Rank star will have to look to add some more finishing skills to his repertoire- something Andy Lee also suggested on Off The Brawl- but suggests that will come with time.


Indeed, ‘The Son of God’ claims considering  the fast track eager Irish fighter is only 11 fights into his pro career he is exactly were he needs to be at this stage of proceedings.

“Everybody wants the meal to be made yesterday. They want the pie to taste perfect but they don’t want to do the preparation work or wait for it to bake,” said Ward.

“Conlan had a lot of amateur fights but he’s only had 10 professional fights. Of course he has things he can do better and work on, but I saw a lot more good than I saw bad.
“I feel like Conlan is right where he needs to be. He’s got to go back to the drawing board with Adam Booth and figure out why they couldn’t get the stoppage against this guy.

“Conlan needs something to work towards because if went in and took a stupid risk and gets knocked out, we’re having a whole different conversation about how stupid it was and how he’s not what we thought he was.

“He boxed, he barely got touched, he inflicted a lot of punishment, he made his fans happy, he got his cheque and he’s moving on to the next phase of his career. Kudos to him.”

It has to be noted that while Ward believes Conlan should have tried to stop his most recent foe the Belfast fighter looked content with implementing a game plan put in place by trainer Booth.

The younger brother of recent world title challenger Jamie Conlan looked content to work on some of things the pair had worked on in the gym and extremely comfortable throughout.

The Bob Arum promoted pro was has also indicated that his performance levels will rise as he moves up the ranks and has been honest about his frustration with fighting fighters below fringe world level.


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com