Has To Happen – Mick Conlan sets World Title Goal

Michael Conlan will be ‘underwhelmed’ and feel like he had ‘underachieved’ if he doesn’t win a world title before he retires.

The Belfast featherweight has ambitions beyond one world title win and still harbours hope of proving himself Ireland’s greatest ever before he hangs them up.

However, dramatic defeat in a world title fight with Leigh Wood last March has helped highlight the fine margins at elite world level and focused the mind on winning that first strap for Conlan.

The only ever Irish male fighter to win Elite World Championship gold enters the second chance salon after a more-dangerous-than-common rebuild secured him a shot at IBF world champion Luis Alberto Lopez.

The 31-year-old is more than determined than ever to get over the line, is confident he can do so and understands home advantage could play a part.

“This means the world to me. It’s been just over a year since the last time I fought for a world title and lost, but I believe I rebuilt the right way. Now I’m on the cusp of becoming a world champion again and I believe I will do it this time,” Conlan said.

“It would be a lifetime goal achieved and I’ve said since I began boxing that I wanted to become a world champion of the professional game. If I don’t, I’ll be very underwhelmed and disappointed as it will feel like I’ve underachieved in my professional career, so the fact I have the chance to do it in front of the home crowd will tick it off the list.”

Conlan’s Top Rank stablemate Lopez captured the title last December, enhancing his reputation as a road warrior by dethroning Josh Warrington in Leeds.

Conlan is expecting a very tough fight but is confident it’s a fight he will win.

“I believe he’s a fantastic fighter, very dangerous and unorthodox. He does some crazy stuff in the ring and will come into this fight with massive confidence,” Conlan said.

“He went to Leeds and won the world title, so is coming here to defend it and will come full of belief. But I believe I will beat him and beat him well,” he adds before pointing out he will benefit from his Nottingham experience going into a second world title fight.

“I’ve just worked on improving and think what will stand to me will be experience.

“That world title fight [v Wood] where it was 100 miles per hour for 12 rounds and obviously I lost, but I was putting my foot on the gas at times when I shouldn’t have. I know the mistakes I made so go into this one conscious of not making them again.”

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