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Carl Frampton’s comeback advice for BRAVE Mick Conlan

Carl Frampton has urged Michael Conlan [16(8)-1(1)] to ditch his tendency to back up against the ropes going into a ‘dangerous’ return fight this Saturday.

Conlan fights for the first time since being stopped by Leigh Wood at ‘The Jackal’s” old stomping ground this Saturday night.

The former two-weight world champion has tipped his hat to the man who has replaced him as Belfast boxing’s star man for choosing what he believes is a live opponent in  Miguel Marriaga [30(26)-5(1)], pointing out the Olympic medal winner would have been forgiven for taking a lesser test.

The now BT Sports pundit believes Marriaga is at such a level he offers Conlan passage back to world level but warns that is only the case because of how dangerous a fight it is.

Frampton points out the three-time world title challenger has power akin to Wood, who stopped Conlan in the last round of a very entertaining clash but comes to the ring with a lot more experience. As a result, he believes Conlan can’t get comfortable on the ropes and has to use his feet and movement as his first line of defence.

“Once I heard who the opponent was going to be, I thought it was a very brave fight to take,” Frampton said in his popular Sunday Life Column.

“Marriaga is a puncher, a good fighter who fought at world level before, so this just shows what Mick is all about as he is willing to take a fight like this. Marriaga has been in with some of the biggest names in the sport like Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez and Nicholas Walters, so it just shows the quality he has.

“He may not have beaten any of them, but he is a big puncher and that always carries a threat because you can out-box someone for long periods and then get caught in the end. That is what happened to Mick against Leigh Wood, and even though I had Mick up in the fight, I probably had it closer than most going into the last round.

“This is a dangerous fight for him and, really, you could have given him a bye-ball for taking an easier touch in his return after such a brutal fight against Wood, but he’s jumping right back into the deep end here and getting back into world title contention.

“If I was Mick’s trainer, one thing I would try to drill out of him is his tendency to stay on the ropes too long. He’s very good defensively and has good head movement, but he still does get hit and that gives an opponent the opportunity to nail him when his feet are static and he’s backed up. They may throw 10 punches and only hit him with one or two, but those may be the ones to do the damage.”

While he notes Marriage doesn’t represent an easy night’s work, Frampton is confident his friend will secure victory on top of the stack card.

“I back him in this one and give him all the credit in the world for taking such a risky fight. People want to see a good fight and he understands that.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years