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Jamie Conlan happier as a manager than a fighter in fight week

In terms of football they say nothing replaces playing, but management can go some way to filling the big void left by retirement.

If Jamie Conlan is to be believed that isn’t the case in boxing. Indeed the former world title challenger claims the opposite exists in terms of boxing.

The older brother of Michael Conlan, who fights in Belfast tonight, hasn’t officially retired, but has hinted he may not fight again and was recently appointed MTK’s Global’s Professional Development Coordinator.

He also seems to have moved into a managers role and has gone from his brothers number one supporter to someone with massive influence of the Top Rank fighters career.

It’s an interesting dynamic, but the former Commonwealth champ is loving the role.

“Having been a fighter I have to say this is much more enjoyable,” he told David Kelly of the Belfast Telegraph.

“I’m involved in the sport I love and I’m not having to make weight or have someone trying to take my head off on Saturday night,” he added before explaining his role.

“Working with Top Rank has been great, they are a very experienced outfit and Adam Booth is a very experienced coach so he knows the kind of opponent he would like for Michael and I’m the man in the middle who speaks to Top Rank and everything is openly and honestly discussed before we agree anything.”

The Conlan’s are a close family steeped in the sport. Father John is a respected coach while Jamie has helped work Michael’s corner in the amateurs the pairs mother and sibling are also vocal supporters at their fights.

However, while the new dynamic won’t put pressure on the pairs relationship the older of the two admits there are times he has had to pull rank.

“It can be stressful because it’s 24-7 looking after Michael’s career. I’ve got a little baby and I don’t know who needs more attention, my little girl Sophia or Michael,” quips Jamie.

“He’s very hands on and wants to know everything that’s going on. He’s so pumped up for this homecoming and in camp with nothing else to think about that he’ll message me at 11 o’clock at night about something and I have to text him back and tell him to mind his own business!

“As I’ve said to him, he just needs to focus on the boxing because it’s my job to handle the other things around him.”

The entertaining fighter always looked capable of getting involved behind the scenes especially when he joined MTK. Conlan. The 31 year old has a deep knowledge and understanding of the game, is media savy and has never had a problem giving credit and even spotlight to other fighters.

However, while feels he brings a fighters perspective to that side of the game he does admit management is a challenge and something he still has to learn something about.

“I know I don’t have the experience of other managers but I do have the experience of being a fighter and having that fighter’s perspective and knowing what it is like to be in tough positions when things are not going as you would want and just how frustrating that can be.

“But of course I am learning on the job as well, that’s only natural, but so far it has gone well and for Michael it’s good because he knows that I’m looking out for him 100 per cent.


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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years