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Michael Conlan: I’ll give Josh Warrington the opportunity to crack America

Michael Conlan says he has no problem introducing Josh Warrington to the American market whilst taking his IBF world title off him next year.

The Belfast fighter, who tops the massive┬áTop Rank card at F├ęile an Phobail this Saturday night, is adamant he wants to fight for a world title within 12 months – and while he claims he has super bantamweight options, is more than keen to face Warrington in a featherweight world title fight.

The Olympian and World Championship gold medal winner even knows when and where he wants to fight the the man, who successfully defended against Carl Frampton last December and holds wins over Patrick Hyland and Martin Lindsay.

Conlan sees his annual Madison Square Garden St Patrick’s Day takeover as ideal for a potential meeting.

Warrington’s promoter Frank Warren this week mentioned the pair together and claimed a clash would be ‘appealing’ – and Conlan suggested to Irish-Boxing.com the British promoter was planting a seed with regard to building a muted clash rather than trying to build the F├ęile show for BT Sports.

“Frank is planting a seed,” Conlan told Irish-Boxing.com.

“I think it’s definitely a possibility. My ideas for it would MSG on St Patrick’s Day. That is what I want,” he adds emphatically.

There are many who would suggest the younger brother of world title challenge Jamie Conlan wouldn’t appeal to the reigning champion.┬áThe risk reward scale wouldn’t weigh up. Others would suggest the London and Rio Olympian is some good wins off earning a shot.

Conlan agrees with the latter, but is confident he can amend that by March. With regard to the former the well supported Top Rank fighter feels he does have something to bring to the table – a chance to secure some Stateside notoriety.

Leeds native Warrington has been vocal about wanting to crack America after registering impressive wins over Lee Selby and Frampton before scraping past Kid Galahad.


Unification bouts were mooted as the best way to achieve that, but a bout with WBA title holder Leo Santa Cruz doesn’t look likely, WBO belt holder Oscar Valdez is likely to defend against Frampton in December – provided ‘The Jackal’ wins in Philly next week – while no one wants any of WBC belt holder Gary Russell Jr.

As a result, Warrington now looks set for an October 12th defense in Britain and may be handed an earned routine fight.

Conlan believes he can help solve the Stateside issue. The Belfast fighter has already topped four TV bills in America and has twice sold out the Theater in Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s day. Indeed the fighter who boasts Bob Arum as his promoter sells more tickets in New York than world champion Valdez did for his last fight.

“If he wants to crack America, who better than me. Someone whose inexperienced in the professional game, someone who doesn’t look like a big threat to him and someone who has a profile in America.┬á He has beaten the likes of Selby and Frampton why not come and take a chance with me?”

“If I am honest I believe I beat him.

“I would be open to that for March. I would like two or three more fights in between.”

warrington frampton fight

With regard to the issue of not being world title challenge ready, Conlan believes that can be amended with three fights – and also believes this weekends opponent Diego Ruiz is a massive step in the right direction.

“I am expecting a hard fight. I have watched and watched Ruiz and he’s good. He is an impressive fighter. His game plan will be to close the distance early and try and get┬á me in a war. I know what to expect from him. Listen this isn’t an easy fight. Everytime I fight people seem to overlook my opponents. This is one is a tough fight.”

His toughest test to date?

“100 percent, by some distance. This guy is young and is on a 10 fight winning streak. I know he won’t want to lose that. He wants to come win and maybe change his career. That’s why he came to Belfast. He had a fight in early June and was straight back into training a few weeks later.”


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