Commonwealth cracker for Conlan before World assault

Promoter Frank Warren is committed to securing a WBO super flyweight title fight for Jamie Conlan in 2017.

First things first however, he wants to put on a rematch of Conlan’s 2016 Fight of the Year with Anthony Nelson.

Warren is hoping to secure a Nelson rematch for the recently announced show at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast which is set for Saturday 18th February.

Conlan and the South Shields fighter were involved in an epic, knockdown-filled war in London back in April, with the Belfast man eventually emerging victor via eighth round stoppage.

A rematch had been hoped for for the Boxnation show at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in November, but financials could not be agreed. Conlan then looked set to defend his newly-won rainbow belt against Tanzanian Julius Kisarawe, only for visa issues to scupper the fight and push ‘The Mexican,’ down the card and into an eight rounder with Hungarian David Koos.

Warren now wants to make the rematch with Nelson for the card in February before moving on to World level.

A WBO final eliminator for Conlan had been secured back in October at the WBO Convention, and it was a possibility that this eliminator would take in February. However, the current WBO champion is Japanese destroyer Naoya Inoue, who defended his belt with a vicious knockout of Kohei Kono this morning. With the fearsome Far East fighter in his way, Conlan and his team have elected to continue building and improving with a fight in February before going into the final eliminator in August. If successful, a world title fight at year’s end is the plan, and it would be viewed as preferable if Inoue, by this time, had vacated to move north in weight, thus leaving a slightly ‘nicer’ route to the title for Conlan.

Outlining the 2017 plans, Warren detailed how “Jamie will headline in Belfast early in the New Year and ideally I’d like to make a rematch of his Fight of the Year, a Commonwealth defence against Anthony Nelson. Conlan’s a terrific little battler who always gives the fans value. Provided he keeps winning, he’ll finally get his crack at world level this year when the WBO title might become vacant.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: