Féile an Phobail confirm Mick Conlan card

The long-mooted outdoor festival fight for Mick Conlan has been confirmed by the event’s organisers.

Ever since his Belfast homecoming bill a the SSE Odyssey Arena last June, a big open-air card at the Falls Park in the West of the city as part of the Féile an Phobail has been proposed for Conlan [11(6)-0].

In recent months there have been encouraging sounds from the Top Rank prospect and his team and, this afternoon, the Féile an Phobail social media channels have released a promotional video, informing followers that ‘it’s happening’.

No date has been confirmed for Conlan’s fight as part of the eleven-day community festival.

This year the Féile runs from Thursday August 1st to Sunday August 11th. It is assumed that Conlan will feature on one of the two weekends encompassed by the festival.

Nothing today has been mentioned about the opponent for this August although it is still hoped that Vladimir Nikitin [3(0)-0] will be the fighter in the opposite corner. The Russian infamously defeated Conlan in the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics and has since been signed to Top Rank for the purpose of a rematch with the Irishman – although has looked thoroughly unimpressive as a pro thus far.

In addition to his place in the Féile being confirmed, Conlan would also suggest that the appearance will be his next outing.

Previously Top Rank boss Bob Arum had proposed that Conlan would feature alongside Tyson Fury on a card in America but this looks to have fallen by the wayside with the Falls fighter describing the Féile as his ‘next move’.

The cultural festival, which has been running since 1988, has featured boxing previously with Pat Magee’s ‘Féile Fight Night’ in 2015 topped by Conlan’s close friend Tommy McCarthy.

In attendance that night, the West Belfast boxer was still an amateur about to become one of the biggest figures in Irish sport.

Since then, and the controversy of the 2016 Olympics, Conlan has raced to 11-0 in the pros. Claiming the WBO Inter-Continental featherweight rankings title late last year, the Irish starlet has risen up the world rankings.

However, a move down to super bantamweight has been mooted recently and could begin this August – with a world title fight said to be within touching distance.

Last time out, in his annual Madison Square Garden St Patrick’s Day fight, Conlan dominated game Mexican Ruben Garcia Hernandez over ten rounds.

The 27-year-old is currently in the beginnings of camp in London with coach Adam Booth and alongside fellow Belfast star Ryan Burnett – who tops a comeback bill in the city next Friday night [May 17th].


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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