One of the major reasons Mick Conlan relocated to ‘The Rock Gym’ in Los Angeles was the quality of sparring available to him there.
The Belfast man’s new gym mates at Manny Robles’s facility in Carson include WBO featherweight champ Óscar Valdez and WBO super bantamweight titlist Jessie Magdaleno.
Yesterday Conlan got to experience his first few rounds in the ring with a world champion.
The Irish super bantam sparred three rounds with Valdez – as well as a further three with 13(8)-0 featherweight Emilio Sanchez.
On the session with Valdez [21(19)-0], Conlan told Irish-Boxing.com that it “was a good spar, tough, and I learned a lot. He’s probably one of the harder punchers I’ve been in with, if not the hardest!”
The sparring was part of preparations for the Fall Road man’s professional debut which will take place in less than a month’s time. Conlan faces Tim Ibarra over six rounds atop a bill at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s Day.