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Manager Mick Conlan backs Kurt Walker to hit Top Gear after impressive test drive

Michael Conlan has first-hand experience of Kurt Walker – and having ‘felt’ just how good the Belfast prospect is he has a good feeling with regard to just how good a career the new pro will have.

Conlan is in a unique position as a manager, as an active pro he can test-drive potential opponents, and he has been doing just that with Walker over the years.

The Olympic medal winner and the Olympian have shared the sparing ring on numerous occasions – and the world title hopeful claims Walkers displays against him have only increased the belief his fellow Antrim man has what it takes to be a success.

Having signed pro terms with Conlan Boxing and Top Rank, the Canal BC graduate steps into the pro spotlight for the first time this weekend.

Walker fights Jaroslav Hriadel on the undercard of the Sky Sports broadcast Josh Taylor versus Jack Catterall world title fight – and Conlan believes it will represent the start of a successful career.

“Kurt Walker is a world-class operator,” Conlan who fights Leigh Wood for the WBA ‘regular’ featherweight title in March said. “Having proved it time after time in the amateur game it’s only natural for him now to take the big step into the professional game and do it there. Having shared many rounds with Kurt throughout both my amateur and professional careers I’ve seen and felt first hand how good he is and how good he can be.”

Jamie Conlan sang off the same hymn sheet when discussing the man who replaced his brothers as Ireland #1 amateur super bantamweight.

Speaking upon signing Walker the former world title challenger said: “This is a real coup for Conlan Boxing, Kurt was one of the stand out performers in Tokyo, beating the World Champion showed just how good he is and was very unlucky not to medal, having watched his progression closely for many years I’ve always believed he’s got the skillset to make it in the pro game, he’s got a fantastic ring IQ and has a great ability to adapt to whatever is in front of him.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com