Jamie Conlan [18(11)-0] will battle more than just former a world title challenger in Yader Cardoza tonight at the Waterfront Hall.
‘The Mexican’ entertainer expects the Nicaraguan to “jump on his chest early.” but believes the experienced away fighter is not all he will have to keep at bay to ensure a victory.
The popular Belfast fighter is adamant he can’t afford to let that ‘red mist’ that inspired his Fight of The Year with Anthony Nelson last April to take over.
The MTK-managed world title hopeful has become famous for crowd-pleasing wars, and he puts it down to that desire to fight, but is under orders to not revert to ‘gunslinger’ mode tonight.
“Against Anthony Nelson we studied for 10 weeks what to do. For two minutes I was doing it and I dropped him. Then I just went gung-ho to get him. Danny [Vaughan] was saying ‘you’re like a gunslinger, if you get him, you get him, if you don’t, you’re gone.'”
“That red mist takes over and I really have to control that,” Conlan explained to Irish-boxing.com.
While Conlan is predicting a more calm and controlled approach, he doesn’t think it will detract for the possibility of another eye catching encounter.
The Danny Vaughan-trained small man feels Cardoza [22(6)-10(5)-1] won’t allow him to win the fight on the back foot. He expects the experienced 27 year old to force him to fight, but he plans on boxing in a more focused manner and exploiting the chances his opponent’s adventurous approach will present.
“This fight will have everything,” said Conlan. “He is going to be on my chest, so I can’t really box him on back foot. I will have to take him on. We worked hard on getting the game plan right. I have plan A, B and C and no red mist!”
“We had Mexican sparring partners that came to chin me and Paddy [Barnes], coming just throwing punches. I have done everything and have it all covered, I just know now I have to fight controlled on the night,” Conlan continued before suggesting that he will still look to entertain the Belfast fight faithful.
“I think he will leave openings for me and I will exploit them. I want to let my hands go now.”
It is a difficult one for the popular and likable West Belfast man. He feels he has to be prepared to battle, but be more of a general and master tactician than a foot soldier at the same time.
“I am raring to get going and I know I need to be for this one. Not in a mad way, just to make sure I am ready to match him when he gets in close.”
“He is going to be on me, I know that, I know I will have to fight, but I have to do it controlled. He will be ready too, he knew he had this fight eight weeks ago and he had a fight in between.”
“I will be fighting the best Cardoza we have seen. This is his world title fight, then again it’s mine too because if I lose where do I go? I’d have to start from the start again. I am really excited for this one.”
During his time preparing in LA, Conlan claims that Mexicans, the fighters most revere as the toughest out there, have expressed a massive respect for how hard the Central Americans are. As a result, he expects his opponent to be durable, but is adamant he isn’t facing a fighter coming to survive – rather one that wants to snatch his world title dream from him.
“He is coming full of confidence, I know that. He has a full team with him and you know when these guys come over with one lad to carry the spit bucket they aren’t just coming for the pay day, he is coming to win and has them all here.”
“It’s not his first trip away, he has been to Mexico so he knows hostile territory. Watch – he will jump on me early, so it really should be a cracking fight.”