‘Discussions on going’ – Michael Conlan closing in on world title shot

Micheal Conlan [13(6)-0] should be a matter of weeks away from a world title shot.

T this he Top Rank has confirmed, but for lockdown, he would be currently preparing for a Feile hosted title tilt.

The opportunity to celebrate with his neighbours a stone throws from where he grew up this summer has past, but the world title dream still exists.

The Olympic medal winner believes he could be just one keep busy win away from having the chance to achieve the first of a his major professional targets.

“If coronavirus hadn’t come, I would’ve been fighting in Falls Park for a world title (this summer),” said Conlan.

“That’s the only thing that’s annoying about it, but it’s just a matter of time now.”

The World Championship gold medal winner will next find behind closed doors on a Frank Warren BT Sports studio card.

An opponent or even level of opponent has yet to be confirmed for that clash.

A relatively routine fight seems to await, but a world title fight could be next.

Indeed, Conlan revealed talks with regard to a tilt at one of the featherweight straps are already underway.

“Top Rank are very keen to have me in New York as they love me there, but I’m very keen to have it in Belfast,” said the 28-year-old.

“There are discussions going on already behind the scene which I only know little snippets of, but I know Belfast is definitely in the running.”

Conlan is ranked with the four governing bodies and thus is eligible to challenge for the four recognized straps.

His highest ranking is with the WBO, where he is currently #1 contender, although not mandatory for the title currently held by promotional stable mate Shakur Stevenson.

The American looks to step up and it was believed the Belfast fighter would challenge for the vacant strap against one of the WBO top 15 in August.

However, the WBO have now stressed Emanuel Navarrete will go straight into a featherweight world title shot if he makes the predicted move up from super bantamweight.

As the current #1 Conlan and as a fellow Top Rank fighter it appears the Adam Booth trained fighter could get his shot.

KO specialist Navarrette would be a serious step up for a fighter with just 13 fights, but Conlan has never doubted his talent and appears open to all comers.

“I’ve always said that I’ll be a world champion,” said Conlan, who turned professional after the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I know when my opportunity comes I’ll grab it with both hands and I’ll step out of the ring as world champion.”

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