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Eddie Hearn turned down chance to sign Mick Conlan

Eddie Hearn passed on an opportunity to sign Mick Conlan before the Belfast super bantamweight inked with U.S. giant Top Rank.

Indeed the Matchroom boss was in contact with Conlan representatives even before his controversial Rio Olympic campaign.

Hearn was not one of the promoters who approached Conlan in the aftermath of the Rio Games, however he did speak to Matthew Macklin beforehand. Even so, the English fight boss was not interested in picking up the Falls Road fighter, noting his lack of plans, at the time, for Ireland.

Speaking to IFL TV, Hearn explained that “Matt called me, and this was well before the Olympics, asking if I would be interested in Mick Conlan.”

“We weren’t really looking and Ireland and, from there, he went and did a deal with Top Rank, and I think that deal was in place pretty much before the Olympics.”

Hearn, who looks set to return to Ireland this year with Ryan Burnett and Katie Taylor, has no regrets over his decision. He described how “I don’t, and this sounds muggy and Mick said it as well, really approach fighters, hound them down, sit outside their door, text them, DM them on Twitter. They know where we are, it doesn’t mean we don’t want them.”

“I think, obviously, someone made a play for him and I think he’s in a good place with Top Rank, I think they’re going to give him a lot of opportunities and I think they did a great job with the debut.”

In terms of Conlan’s momentous headline debut on Friday, where he packed out The Theater at Madison Square Garden for a six rounder against Tim Ibarra, Hearn was impressed.

He noted how “I though Matthew Macklin, Top Rank, all those guys did a really top job. I thought it was first class promoting. It looked virtually full in there, the atmosphere looked great, it was a coup and a half to get Conor McGregor, I liked all the build up.”

“Hats off to Top Rank, Matthew Macklin, and Mick Conlan.”

Watch Eddie Hearn’s interview with IFL TV:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie