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McKenna-Taylor a potential fight of the year-Jamie Conlan

MICHAEL Conlan [17(8)-1(1)] is in fine form ahead of Saturday’s clash with Karim Guerfi, his brother Jamie says. 

The recent world title challenger takes on the five-time European Champion at the SSE Arena on Saturday night in what he admits is a potential banana skin.

However, his brother, also a former world title challenger, and Conlan Boxing partner, doesn’t foresee any slip-ups ahead of a potential March world title tilt.

“I went over and watched Michael spar, he looks unbelievable. A top class French kid he was in with. A Welsh prospect called Rhys Edwards, we brought him down and he gave him great rounds as well so everything is shaping up perfectly,” Jamie Conlan told Conlan Boxing’s Youtube.

Still ‘The Mexican says he is interested to see how the younger Conlan responds on the night. “I’m intrigued to see how Michael adapts and adjusts and handles Guerfi.”

The fighter-turned-fight-maker also suggested says his brother will fight for a world title in 2023, preferably in the first quarter. “The aim is a world title fight next, whether it be IBF, WBO, WBA, that’s what we’re speaking about with Top Rank and they’re kind of the same mindset as ourselves, that a world title fight should be next, although we’re open to other options. He had to rebuild after a loss as you do. It was a fantastic fight and we though it would have forced a rematch but you can’t begrudge Leigh Wood and his team going a different route, wanting to unify titles or fight Leo Santa Cruz. We had to forge our own path to get back to a title, so it’ll be March or August, but I’d prefer March. The reason why we’re fighting in December and keeping active is to be ready for March.”

Speaking about the chief support clash, Tyrone McKenna versus Liam Taylor, the Conlan Boxing boss man suggested it could be one for the ages. “He looks like a carbon copy of Tyrone but orthodox.. They both can box, they’ve long enough arms to stick and move, but they end up getting drawn in and leave openings when they’re inside, there’s openings to the body and head, they’re prone to getting hurt, both show a lot of vulnerabilities on the inisde especially. But it’s how they come back from getting hurt, when they’re hurt and wounded it’s when they’re at their most dangerous.  It’s a potential fight of the year.”

The away fighter will bring a lot to the contest, he believes. “I spoke with Liam’s coach during the week and he’s of the view that you can tell Liam all you want but he’s going to get in there and have a tear up. Both of them accepted the challenge thrown down.”

It will be a memorable night for Pádraig McCrory and he feels there could be more to come from a fighter who can still improve, despite his age. “It’s the same position as Michael, we’re biding time, he was fresh and wanted to get out again, at this stage of his career activity is key. Getting Poddy a fight back in Belfast was another thing and it sets him up for another massive fight in March,” said Conlan. 

“He needs to continue progressing. It sounds insane but he’s still learning because he took so much time out of the ring, he’s still progressing and learning,” he added. 

Young fighters like Paddy Donovan, Kurt Walker and Kieran Molloy will also get a chance to gain valuable experience, he feels. “There’s a few fights brewing on the undercard that we’ve matched this week that I’m very excited to see. Prospects getting real tests, step-ups in their career.”