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Don’t Believe the Hype – Tony Bellew sends Mick Conlan warning ahead of Homecoming

Tony Bellew has told Michael Conlan to detach emotionally ahead of his massive Homecoming on tonight.

The Top Rank starlet fights for the first time as a pro in Belfast at the SSE Odyssey Arena and tops a big TV card in his first bout in his home town for over seven years.

There is excitement surrounding the return a World amateur gold and Olympic bronze medal winner as well as the brilliant card he tops but Bellew warns the ambitious talent not to get caught up in the hype.

Leading Belfast light Carl Frampton may thrive off the Belfast crowd and often claims they make him almost invincible and Jamie Conlan is another who has benefited from crowd assistance.

However the recent David Haye defeater and former WBC cruiserweight champion believes Conlan should detach from the occasion when he faces Adeilson Dos Santos and warns getting too emotionally charged could prove dangerous.

“It’s eight years since Conlan fought in Belfast, his hometown. The best way to deal with that, in my experience, is not get too involved in the moment. Treat it like anything else. Don’t believe the hype and detach himself emotionally from the fight. Then he’ll fight as well as he always does,” Bellew said in his weekly Metro column.

“If he starts buying into the hype and becomes too emotionally in the fight then he might find himself in trouble. He might tire, things might not go the way he wants them to. He needs to switch off emotionally and think this fight is just another fight in the middle of nowhere. If he does that, we’ll see the best of him.”

“I’ve been there and made that mistake. I’ve fought in the centre of Liverpool, I’ve fought in Goodison Park and I even need to detach myself when I fight at the O2 in London. If I treat it as a job, I always perform at my best level. Conlan needs to do the same.”

The 26-year-old takes a step up as he faces a hard punching Brazilian in Dos Santos.

The South American banger Jessie Magdaleno for the WBO super bantamweight title as recently as last year – being stopped in two.

However, Bellew claims while Dos Santos represents an upgrade he shouldn’t trouble the talented Adam Booth-trained operator.

“Maybe to the general public, it looks like he is taking a risk against , but people who really understand boxing and see the technical side understand this is not really a risk at all. He’s leagues above him.

“Conlan is a quality operator. He’s does everything really, really well. Very, very fit, disciplined – he is a well-schooled international level fighter. It will be a walk in the park for him.”


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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years