Frustrated Mick Conlan calls for a “real opponent”

Michael Conlan [9(6)-0] has called on Top Rank to hand him a “real opponent”.

The Belfast featherweight registered his ninith consecutive victory in Las Vegas on Saturday night but cut a somewhat disapointed figure dispite adding to his record and impressing in another city.

The Adam Booth-trained prospected stopped former Italian champion Nicola Cipolletta live on ESPN+ but questioned his opponent after the fight.

The stoppage only came after Conlan completed a mini marathon having been forced to chase the Italian around the ring for nigh-on 20 minutes.

It was clear Cipoletta came to survive and not to win, or even compete, with the Belfast featherweight and the Top Rank prospects wants nothing more to do with those type of opponents.

Admittedly it seemed to be a calculated step down in opposition from his homecoming win over recent World title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos as Conlan had a longer than usual break between fights – and Cipolletta was expected to be solid if not spectacular.

Regardless, the 26-year-old Olympic bronze medallist is desperate to impress and is finding this hard to do against negative survival specalists.

As a result, the fighter with ambitions to become Ireland’s best ever wants to move to world level as soon as possible and wants world level opponents next.

“He was just negative,” Conlan said afterwards. “Now I want real opponents. I want top 10, top 15 opponents.”

Critical of Cipolletta’s offering, Conlan outlined how “I thought he would have stood a bit more, I thought he would have given it a go a bit more but from the first bell he seemed to be very negative and running.”

“Me and Jamie [Conlan, brother and manager], we spoke about his and we had a feeling that he was going to do this. He was kind of like the guy I fought back in New York in May [Ibon Larrinaga].”

“This kid ran even more than him but I think it was a big improvement [from me] when you take both performances into consideration.”

While he wasn’t too impressed with the spectacle or the opposition, Conlan was satisfied in his own performance in what was fight number four under Booth.

The London-based switch-hitter noted how”I stayed patient and practiced the things what I was working on in the gym.”

“I think it kind of came across in my performance, I felt I was very calm and relaxed and when the time came, the job was done.”

“I’m happy enough, on to the next one.”

The Belfast fighter may have to wait before securing a legitimate top 10 fighter but he does look set to box for a belt next time out.

The 2015 World Amateur Championships gold medallist will populate the Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton undercard in Manchester on December 22nd and has revealed he will fight for a to-be-confirmed title on the pay-per-view card.


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