Mick Conlan‘s two finger salute was a key part in him securing the professional deal that is said to dwarf anything any turning over Irish amateur has ever received according to his manager Matthew Macklin.
The Belfast fighter flipped the bird at the judges after his by now infamous Olympic robbery in Rio this summer.
Such behavior, while understood in this case considering the circumstances, is more often than not frowned upon, but it raised the eyebrows and interest of none other than Top Rank boss Bob Arum.
One of the biggest promoters in World boxing saw something of a kindred spirit in the 24 year old, as the Irish Olympian wasn’t willing to go quietly after his gold medal dream was stolen for him in the cruelest of fashions.
Arum, who signed the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto after impressive Olympic performances, liked the passion and ‘balls’ he saw in the 2015 World amateur champion, and once he doubled-checked the Clonard man’s fight credentials he went all out to get a puncher he feels he can turn into a star.
“When we met Bob Arum he said ‘I seen this kid give the fingers, I looked at him seen the emotion and the passion in the interview and I thought I can make this kid a star. The I spoke to Bruce Trampler and he told me this kid can fight. So I said lets get him’,” Macklin explained on Ringside Toe2Toe this week before describing the enormity of the offer.
“They really did go above and beyond to get Mick. There was a lot of interest and the offer they made and what we agreed on in the end was the biggest that any Irish amateur has ever gotten. I don’t even know if anyone from the UK has got an offer that big. This kid is going to be a superstar.”
“He got ripped off badly in the Olympics, but even that has turned into a positive for him. He has done a massive deal with Top Rank. They are the best at bringing guys from the Olympics and creating superstars and they have big big plans for him.”
Top Rank do have a great track record with Olympians and have moved some of their London 2012 fighters on fast. Vasyl Lomachenko is a two weight World champ after just seven fights, while Paddy Barnes nemesis Zou Shiming challenges for World honours for a second time next month in his tenth fight.
However, both did lose World title fights at the first attempt and Macklin claims the Belfast man will take things that bit slower.
“There isn’t a rush. He makes his debut on Paddy’s Day next year and will do a six rounder. There is no point in doing fours, he has already boxed god knows how many times in the WSB, so maybe three or four sixes then an eight rounder, but certainly by the end of year one we will be looking for.”