Michael Conlan targeting ‘spectacular’ Feile world title shot

Michael Conlan [15(8)-0] isn’t giving up hope of fighting for a world title in Belfast in August.

The Belfast super bantamweight registered his first win of 2021 when he out pointed Ionut Baluta at the York Hall on Friday.

After the clash he re confirmed his desire to challenge for a world title next time out, setting his sights on Stephen Fulton and the Feile.

The August world title tilt, which was promised by Bob Arum, looked unlikely going into the Baluta clash, as Showtime confirmed original target Fulton will fight in September.

The WBO super bantamweight world champion is scheduled to compete against the winner of the upcoming fight between WBA ‘regular’ champion Brandon Figueroa and WBC champion Luis Nery, apparently making August a no go.

However, Conlan is still hopeful he can tempt 26-year-old ‘Cool Boy Steph’ to change his plans and put his title on the line against him in his home city this summer.

“I want Stephen Fulton in Belfast in August,” said Conlan post-career win #15.

“With the politics of boxing, will it be possible for then? I don’t know, but we will hope so,” he adds before stating if not August he is happy to wait until Christmas for a world title shot.

“If it can happen in August I would love that, but if not then in the winter in New York.

“I will stay active and fight in August no matter what, so it’s straight back into the gym. I know I have to be patient and can’t rush too quick, so if I have to wait until December for the world title then that’s no problem.”

Baluta, who came into the fight on the back of victories over Tj Doheny and Davey Oliver Joyce, pushed the Olympic medal winner closer than expected – and speaking post the win he admitted he was somewhat surprised by the Romanian but still felt he won wider than the 117-112, 115-114, 114-114 scorecards suggested.

“Baluta is tougher than I thought. He’s shown in his last two fights that he’s as game as he comes but he was missing with tons of punches. It was a good fight though and good preparation for what is to come.

“He held his engine more than I thought he would and he worked every round. It was my first fight at super-bantamweight and my first 12 rounder and the perfect test for where I’m at.”

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