Michael Conlan [13(7)-0] is planning to strut his way up the boxing ladder in New York on St Patrick’s Day.
The Belfast featherweight faces his toughest test to date on his annual visit to Madison Square Garden next week, but increased risk doesn’t mean Conlan is just targeting the win.
Indeed, with a world title fight on the horizon the 28-year-old feels he has to put on an eye catching performance.
“If I am honest I know I need to go on and put on a show, show some style and win in dramatic fashion,” Conlan told IFL TV when asked about his next outing.
Belmar Preciado [20(13)-2(1)-1] provides the opposition at the Hulu Centre in the Garden. The Colombian hasn’t quite the profile or ranking of some of the other fighters Top Rank tried tempt to New York on March 17. However, Conlan warns he is just as dangerous.
The Adam Booth trained fighter notes that his March 17 opponent was on his way to beating WBA#1 and original target Hiroshige Osawa only to be caught big late.
As a result he is aware he can’t overlook the challenge that awaits.
“He is a very dangerous cataract and a puncher,” Conlan explained.
“The guy we were originally slated to fight and were trying to get the fight done with, the WBA#1 Osawa from Japan he KO’d Preciado, but Preciado was actually beating him up and until that point.
“So I have a tricky test on my hands, someone who can punch and someone who has got a bit of skill. I have to be careful, aware and cautious when I am going in there.”
It’s widely believed that if Conlan wins in just over two weeks he will challenge for a world title at the Feile in August.
The World Championships gold medal winner and Olympic medalist has always been quite consistent at focusing on the fight at hand – and in keeping with that approach the claims he will only survey the world title landscape after March 17.
“I haven’t looked at any of the champions and said ‘this is who I want to fight right now’ because I have to deal with Preciado first. Once that’s done I can see what is next be it Stevenson, Warrington or Xu Can. I believe I will be ready for them when the time comes. When the opportunity arises I’ll grab it with both hands and be the world champion.”