The all-action entertainer is riding on the crest of a wave at present, having secured the Commonwealth title in what was the Fight of the Year before receiving news of a 2017 WBO World super flyweight title final eliminator.
To top it all off, ‘The Mexican’ brings the TV cameras back to his hometown after over two years away and tops his first ever Belfast card. Showing just how far he has come, the Boxnation-broadcast bill takes place at a venue that is mere yards from where he once worked as a laborer, wondering if he would ever forge a successful career in the fight game.
The 30 year old admits to several times doubting, especially when like so many other fighters he had to hold down a full-time job between fights, if he would ever top a bill.
Frank Warren affords him that opportunity this Saturday night and the fact Conlan, who is adamant this weekend isn’t a once off, paved slabs at the Titanic Exhibition Centre where he trades leather live on Boxnation isn’t lost on him.
“The last time I boxed at home was over two years ago, when Carl Frampton beat Kiko Martínez.just across the road from where I am fighting,” Conlan said when speaking at the press conference held by Top Rank for his brother Micheal on Friday last.
“The funniest thing about it is, myself and my brother Brendan laid the flags and stones for the Titanic where we are actually boxing. One Christmas he needed help and I said I’d do it. It’s exactly where we fought on the Titanic outdoor show, we laid that and it held up. After the first time Cyclone were running shows here, things were running dry and I was going back to work. I was working between fights and the work was better than the boxing, but I stuck it out. I have a good team behind me now who are pushing me in the right direction and now I am home topping a bill in Belfast. I never thought this would come, but it has and it will for the next while.”
The Belfast little man seems to be relishing the chance to be the big man on a home show and. while he is keen to bring excitement, he isn’t too sure about reproducing his crowd pleasing wars with Junior Granados and Anthony Nelson.
“Everyone wants to fight in their home town, continue to fight in their home town. and build a fanbase, so I am excited. I really want to bring exciting nights to Belfast and deliver what the crowd want. I know they have watched the last few fights and they are expecting every fight to be like that. It won’t be like that for my sake, but it would be nice to have one or two like that and have the fans here experience what the fans in Dublin and London did.”
While Conlan received the wrath of his coach Danny Vaughan, his father, and others in his circle, after the nail-biting back and forth scraps, and is determined to win easier from here on out – he is aware those classic battles have helped him return to Belfast as a bill topper.
“It hasn’t hurt the profile or the ability to draw big audiences, but for longevity you can’t keep going out like that. People want to watch now and the expect it and when it’s not nights like that they are kind of disappointed. Listen when I got out of the ring after those fights I was disappointed with how it went, everyone around you is telling you it was brilliant, but myself and especially my father are very disappointed with the performance. You do have to try and look for the positives and the positives are the exposure I wouldn’t get if I just won over 10 rounds boxing.”