Photo by Ricardo Guglielminotti
Jamie Conlan is one of boxing’s nice guys. Always happy to give an interview, he gives us the nod to say ‘I’ll be with you soon’ as he waits to see the doctor post weigh in London on Friday.
A gentleman outside of the ring, Conlan is in no mood to be the nice guy on Saturday night as he aims to take the Commonwealth title from Anthony Nelson and move on with his World title dream.
You can sense the dichotomy between the always pleasant lad outside of the ropes and the man with no mercy who laces up the gloves when he talks to us about his crack at Commonwealth glory on Saturday.
Despite some seeing Saturday’s fight as a warm up for Paul Butler, Conlan isn’t taking Nelson lightly but is adamant he is coming home with the belt.
“This guy is an undefeated champion and they don’t just give away prestigious titles like the Commonwealth one for nothing. He believes that if he beats me he will be on big shows on TV but I’m here to dishearten him and take everything he has” said the Belfast boxer.
Speaking to the MGM promoted fighter you get a sense that while he feels the pressure that such a big fight brings, he is relishing it and knows that victory is a must if he is to progress and claim bigger titles in the future.
“I can’t lose to someone like this. I have to win it. This is something that I have to tick off the list in order to become a World champion. I have been training as hard as I ever have and I know I can beat him but I can’t let any more slip ups happen. I like the pressure of a fight like this but you don’t just come here and take a title like this, I’ll have to grab and snatch it off him.”
“I can’t see it going the distance. He has a high workrate but I can match it and he doesn’t have the power I possess. I can see a lot of openings that I can take advantage of. He is similar to Mike Robinson who I fought in 2013 and the result then was a knock-out. I’m stronger and more experienced now so I think I can get him out of there early enough.”
All going well on Saturday, thoughts among the fight fans will again turn to a possible bout with Paul Butler and Conlan sees that fight as one that makes perfect sense for both.
“He doesn’t pay my bills and I don’t pay his but we need each other in a sense because there is not much in the division. It is a fight that makes financial sense for both of us. I want this title first through and I would love to defend it in Belfast and if Tennyson comes through his fight tomorrow we could have two prestigious titles and big nights down the line in Belfast.