Mick Conlan will join a rather exclusive club on Friday March 17th when he debuts at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The list of fighters who made their pro bow at The Garden includes heavyweight legends George Foreman and Evander Holyfield, but even they did not headline the famous venue on their debut.
Conlan however will top the bill in New York as he begins a journey that promoter Top Rank hope will see him become a multi-weight champion and “the face of boxing”
Speaking today at the official announcement of the fight, Executive vice president of Marquee Events and Operations at Madison Square Garden, Joel Fisher, said “we are extremely, extremely excited to have the debut of Michael Conlan.”
“Fighting here, for many fighters, is a dream. great company, George Foreman and Evander Holyfield made their debuts here. To make your debut here is tremendous.”
It is the intention of Top Rank to turn the Belfast super bantam into a global star, and intend to have him fight on both sides of the Atlantic and in all the major Irish hubs across America. Fisher however wants Madison Square Garden to become known as the Conlan’s ‘home’ – much like another Ulsterman.
He said “we want to make this his home, we want to make this the place where Michael Conlan fights, and fights often”
“We’ve been fortunate to have great fights here on St Paddy’s Day. We’ve had John Duddy, Andy Lee, Matthew Mackin. This is going to be another great fight.”
“I’ve been talking to John Duddy who was just a great guy and a great ambassador for The Garden. A really good fighter with an incredible fanbase. Michael is going to be a really great fighter with another great, great fanbase.”
A sell-out crowd is expected at the 5,500-capacity venue, and Fisher described how “Irish fans, as we know, are tremendous, they’ll come out and support Michael. We are sure that there will be a full sea of green here. It will be sold out” while Top Rank president Todd DuBoef added that “he’s going to sell this house out for many years to come.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show