Could Josh Warrington hold the keys to Michael Conlan’s world title shot

Michael Conlan [13(7)-0] is confident he will fight for a world title in his next fight.

However, it seems a fighter he has been more than keen to trade leather with has the ability to delay his top table ambitions.

The Belfast featherweight made his prediction on the back of news Shakur Stevenson is set to move up in weight and vacate the WBO featherweight title.

If that is indeed the case, as #1 contender with the governing body the Adam Booth trainer is next in line and would be assured of a shot at the vacant strap.

Considering Conlan and Stevenson are both Top Rank promoted fighters it’s safe to assume the Irish fighter’s world title prediction has it’s basis in inside info.

However, the American has stated there is one fighter who could delay his decision to jump up the scales and thus delay Conlan’s world title plans.

‘Fearless’ claims if IBF title holder Josh Warrington was to agree to fight him he would remain at the weight for the chance to become a unified champion.

The Leeds fighter – who holds a win over Carl Frampton and whom Conlan has always claimed he is ready to fight – and Stevenson have been linked for sometime now. Indeed there was strong rumour they would fight this summer, only for a deal never to be reached.

“I’m moving up to 130 my next fight,” Stevenson insists. “I’m moving up for sure. Unless it’s Warrington, unless he pushes that other fight aside and fight me.”

The fact Warrington has left Frank Warren, who has a good working relationship with Top Rank’s Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, to join Eddie Hearn makes a Stevenson bout less likely – and it does appear as if Xu Can WBA world champion is next on the English fighters list.

In that regard Conlan’s prediction of a late summer early Autumn world title fight looks valid. It now just remains to be seen who will populate the opposite corner.

Secure victory in any world title fight and Warrington may again bleep on the Team Conlan radar, particularly if he has unified.

Speaking to Irish-boxing.com in August of 2019 Conlan confirmed: “If he wants to crack America, who better than me. Someone whose inexperienced in the professional game, someone who doesn’t look like a big threat to him and someone who has a profile in America. He has beaten the likes of Selby and Frampton why not come and take a chance with me?”

“If I am honest I believe I beat him.

“I would be open to that for March. I would like two or three more fights in between.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com 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: editoririshboxing@gmail.com