Confidence Issue – Conlan to use ‘Irish Slayers’ self-belief against him

Michael Conlan [14(8)-0] says he is going use Ionut Baluta’s confidence against the Romanian on Friday night.

The WBO European ranking title holder comes into the clash on the back of back-to-back victories over Irish opposition.

The 27-year-old hasn’t shied away from suggesting he will add Conlan to the scalps of former world champion TJ Doheny and Rio Olympian and make it an Irish hat trick on Friday night.

It’s the kind of momentum and confidence that makes Baluta [14(3)-3(0)] dangerous but the Top Rank promoted Belfast fighter is convinced he will turn his opponent’s self-belief into a negative.

“He brings an unorthodox, relentless kind of pressure,” said Conlan. “He throws an awful lot of punches from odd angles. Baluta has shown what he can do against my two former Irish compatriots. I think one of his biggest things is his confidence, it’s booming at the moment after beating David Oliver Joyce and TJ Doheny.

“[Confidence is] going to be his biggest thing but it’s going to be his biggest downfall too. When he attacks, he leaves many openings, which I will capitalize on. He’s reckless and wild when he punches. He will leave spaces for me to capitalize on and I believe I will,” Conlan told the Ring Magazine.

The Belfast super-bantamweight should be beating someone of Baluta’s quality considering his pedigree but the Romanian arguably represents the best the former amateur standout has faced.

As Bob Arum has pointed out Friday night represents the Top Rank fighter’s toughest test to date, all of which excites the younger brother of recent world title challenger Jamie Conlan.

Conlan suggests a game and adventerous opponent will only facilitate an exciting destructive Irish display live on BT Sports.

“I’m very, very excited,” Conlan added. “He’s a dangerous guy, he’s a very good fighter, an exciting fighter, who’s on a great run of form. I’ve got to go in there and be the best I can be. You’re going to see a really good performance. I’m going to go and dominate and destroy this guy.”

The Conlan fight kicks off an exciting weekend for Irish boxing. The Irish revenge mission will be followed by two high-profile clashes on Saturday, as James Tennyson and Katie Taylor populate the Derek Chisora versus Joseph Parker PPV Sky Card. Tennyson takes on tough Mexican Jovanni Straffon while Taylor puts her four lightweight world titles on the line against Natasha Jonas.

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 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: