Conlan can’t stand still if he wants to make it to the top warns Booth

If Adam Booth is to be believed, Michael Conlan may just produce the career best performance he has been promising tonight.

The Belfast featherweight takes on what he admits is ‘by miles’ the toughest test of his career when he faces Alberto Ruiz atop a Top Rank card at the Falls Park as part of Féile an Phobail.

It’s a challenge the Falls Road fighter has been crying out for and one he more than welcomes. The Argentine will provide a different kind of test than the majority of the Olympian’s previous foes, but it’s one Conlan is adamant he will pass via a breakout performance.

His coach Adam Booth, who worked with Andy Lee and also trains Ryan Burnett, has gone as far as to predict any sensational display, but he has confirmed the younger brother of world title challenger Jamie Conlan has made massive improvements in recent months.

As predicted by most that have worked with the ‘Dark Lord’, a bedding-in time would be needed for the boxer to get to grips with the coach’s precise approach.

The pair have been working together for over a year since the World amateur champion returned back from America and Manny Robles’s gym – and in the last six months Booth claims they have gelled and the benefits may be on show at the Falls Road.

“The progress over the last six months has been brilliant and over the last three months, more than ever,” explained English coach Booth.

“I think he’s understanding more and the more he’s understanding, the more he’s lusting after answers to little dilemmas he’s going to come across as he steps up through the levels.”

Booth also suggests the world title hopeful has come to understand that the natural talent he is lauded in some quarters for having won’t be enough for him to fulfill his world title dream.

More work and constant improvement is required claims the former coach of David Haye and George Groves.

“Also, he’s not just getting away with the fact he’s good and talented, can box and has that amateur pedigree and reputation behind him.

“He realises that if he stays the same as he is now, he won’t get to the level he wants to get to. He’s developing an understanding of the fact he’s getting away with some things.

“He’s still having lots of success but he still feels he’s getting away with some things so it’s a really nice position to be in at this stage of his career.”


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 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: