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‘Bigger than Joe Canning’ – Conlans delighted to sign ‘special talent’

Kieran Molloy will be a bigger name in Galway than the legendary Joe Canning predicts Michael Conlan.

The 23-year-old last week confirmed he had signed a managerial contract with Conlan Boxing and that Jamie Conlan and Michael Conlan will plot his pro path alongside Top Rank.

Both the former world title challenger and the active world title hopeful are beyond excited having secured ‘Galway’s greatest amateur’s’ signature.

The siblings believe they have a future champion on their hands and claim Molloy has real star potential.

In fact, Olympic medal winner Michael Conlan told Galway to get ready to make room for a new sporting hero, predicting Molloy will replace hurling sensation Joe Canning as the county’s favourite son.

“I can tell you no this kid is special,” Conlan told Irish-boxing.com.

“He has what it takes to succeed, and like I said [on the top table] he will be bigger than Joe Canning,” he adds with a smile.

The Canning line was playing to the crowd at its best by the younger of the two boxing brothers but there is no doubt Conlan Boxing are big on the three-time National Elite Champion.

“I think he is Ireland’s best prospect if I’m honest,” adds Michael Conlan.

Molloy was identified as a target as soon as the brothers established Conlan Boxing and their research produced findings that embolden their belief in him.

“When you hear good feedback from seriously respected coaches, from both sides of the Atlantic it gives you that extra belief. Every coach we asked about him only has good things to say. I’m really excited, Kieran is a real talent.”

“When we started Conlan Boxing there were only two names we had in mind,” Jamie Conlan explains.

“We looked at Keiran and Kurt [Walker]. With Keiran, I have never heard anyone say a bad word about him. The talent is there but so too is the dedication and ambition. We know he works hard and he wants it. He works hard and gets on with his business, the kind of fighter I personally will enjoy delivering for. I have to feel part of it and to have that connection and I got that immediately with Keiran and the people around him.”

Molloy is well known within boxing circles and was seen as a Tokyo medal hope as far back as his teens. The Olympic dream never materialized and the Oughterard BC graduate didn’t quite have the international amateur career many predicted. As a result, the Galway southpaw wouldn’t have the profile his managerial and promotional stablemate Kurt Walker would – but that is about to change warns Michael Conlan.

“The stories we’ve been told about this kid are fantastic and I’ve seen him train first hand, I’ve trained beside him. I can’t wait for him to show people. He will win new fans everything he fights. He may not have the biggest amateur credentials, he isn’t made for the amateur game, look at his style it’s not made for three three-minute rounds. He has good boxing ability, he can punch hard, and more than the people of Galway will be following him soon.”

That lack of a massive profile may prove beneficial early on. It will allow Conlan Boxing to progress their man at their own pace without loud outside step-up shouts. Former Commonwealth champion Jamie Conlan, who was extremely impressed at the turnout for the announcement press conference, certainly isn’t in a rush.

“We are in no rush, he’s only 23 years of age. We will build him both sides of the Atlantic and expose him to all different styles of fighter. It’s a different scenario to Kurt who is that bit older and has been in there with higher calibre amateurs over a long period of time. We plan to keep him busy, maybe debut in early February and let him learn and build. We will move him at the right pace.

“I think most people in boxing understand the process but those outside boxing need to understand pro boxing and amateur boxing is like snooker versus pool. The objective is the same, put the ball in the pocket, but they are two completely two different games.”

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