Michael Conlan promises to ‘destroy’ toughest test to date

Michael Conlan [13(7)-0] is predicting the toughest test of his career and his best performance at the same time.

The Belfast super bantamweight world title hopeful confirmed former European Champion Sofiane Takoucht [35(13)-4(1)-1] as his August 15 opponent yesterday – and will fight French man live on BT Sports and ESPN next month.

The Adam Booth trained fighter admits the recent featherweight world title challenger is the best fight he has signed to face and expects his toughest pro challenge to date.

However, the 28-year-old predicts a destructive performance.

The Olympic medal winner has long since stated he will only be able to show the full range of his capabilities when faced with a high level opponent.

He believes ‘Baby face’ is just that and has thus promised to ‘destroy’ him.

“Takoucht has over twice as many wins as I have fights, so he’s a very experienced fighter and a southpaw that can cause problems when he wants to,” he says of a fighter that was stopped by world champion Josh Warrington last time out.

“He’s a good fighter and a much higher calibre opponent than I’ve had so far. He’ll be confident, but I’m in fantastic shape and I’ll go in there and destroy him.”

“I’m delighted to be back boxing again. I haven’t stopped training throughout lockdown, so I’m coming in prepared and I expect to put on a big performance.

“I’m interested to see how it will be fighting in front of no fans, but I’ve done it before in the amateurs so experiencing that again is something I’m looking forward to.”

Victory on a card that also see’s fellow Irish Top Rank fighters Carl Frampton and Paddy Donovan in action should see the former amateur standout take another positive step toward a world title shot.

A round of WBO ranking musical chairs has left Conlan sitting in a good position to pick up a prize.

Undefeated Americans Stephen Fulton and Angelo Leo look odds on to challenge for the WBO super bantamweight title with former featherweight hopeful Conlan in prime position to fight the winner.

Manager and older brother Jamie Conlan has previously stated this will be the first of two fights that will lead him to a world title shot at Madison Square Garden next St Patrick’s Day, although a December tilt hasn’t been ruled out.

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 sport for a living for 19 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