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Carl Frampton shares Michael Conlan world title prediction

Michael Conlan [18(9)-1(1)] will have to do it the hard way and really earn his world title suggests Carl Frampton.

The man who dethroned a world champion in Belfast – Frampton beat Kiko Martinez to become IBF super bantamweight world champion in 2014 – backs his fellow Belfast man to defeat Luis Alberto Lopez  [27(15)-2(0)] at the SSE Arena on May 27 but notes it won’t be easy.

The former two-weight world champion notes a good fighter with away day experience stands between Ireland’s only world amateur champion and the IBF featherweight world title.

“What a night it will be at the SSE Arena on May 27 when Michael Conlan challenges Luis Alberto Lopez for the IBF featherweight title,” Frampton said in his popular Sunday Life column.

“The main event is a genuinely great fight. There are occasions where people get world titles the easy way with a vacant belt on the line, but Mick will have truly earned his world title if he can manage to beat this guy.

“Lopez has a couple of losses in his career, but they are some time ago and he has improved a lot. He’s still relatively young and is a very good fighter.

“He jumps in from different angles, punches hard, has a solid chin and has won away from home in a hostile environment when he beat Josh Warrington in Leeds to become champion before Christmas, so coming to Belfast won’t spook him.

“It’s a really hard fight to call but what I will say is that Mick will have earned his win and I’m backing him to do the job.”

Frampton points out that Conlan will face different pressures than he did ahead of a Belfast world title challenge.

The all-time Irish great suggests the fighter, who would cement his place on the greatest Irish list with a world title victory, will want to get his hands on a belt ASAP, hinting a second rebuild may not be ideal at 31 and particularly for a fighter with unification and multi-weight world title ambitions.

“The pressure for me was different as the guy I was fighting, I’d already beaten for the European title so the pressure came from people expecting me to do it again as I had beaten Kiko once already.

“This will be different for Mick as although he would love to win the title at home, he’s in against a very good fighter and at 31, I would think he’d have thought he may have already won a world title by this stage.”

He added: “He is certainly not on the slide but when I was hitting this age, it’s when I started to dip and although it’s not the end of the road if he were to lose this, he still needs to get his hands on a title quickly as it will be difficult to rebuild as time waits for no-one.


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