Michael Conlan [17(8)-1(1)] can focus of getting past former European Champion Karim Guerfi [31(9)-6(4)] safe in the knowledge a second world title fight will come.
The featherweight came within seconds of adding his name to the list of Irish world champions in Nottingham earlier this year, only to eventually lose a Fight of the Year contender with Leigh Wood in dramatic circumstances.
Such was the Belfast favourites display that his stock rose in last gasp defeat and world title chatter actually increased. However, a rematch with Wood couldn’t be secured and Conlan goes into a clash with Guerfi on the back of a win over three time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga.
It’s a solid fight for the Olympic medal winner – but he won’t be challenging for a world title at the SSE Arena, which in itself may bring some pressure to make some non Guerfi noise as the fight approaches in a bid to increase world title talk.
However, the World amateur Championship gold medal winner is extremely confident next year will bring a world title fight regardless, and thus all his current energy can be diverted to the tricky French foe.
“You can’t overlook any fighter,” Conlan told Belfast Live at the homecoming for Padraig McCrory.
About Saturday night…. Belfast, thank you 💥🥊☘️ pic.twitter.com/TvqkjZCxZf— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) August 9, 2022
“Sometimes you find yourself doing it a wee bit, and you have to slap yourself on the head and say ‘what are you doing?’.
“This guy can cause any upset; he has before. So I am overlooking nobody and I am looking forward to it.
“There’s no point me looking down the line or into 2023. There are world tiles on the horizon, I know that.
“But I am not chasing it, it’s going to come.”