Michael Conlan [12(7)-0] looks set to drop down in weight and make a serious step up in class when he returns to the ring in December.
The Belfast fighter will move down to super bantamweight where he will trade leather with either Isaac Dogboe [20(14)-2(1)] or Genesis Servania [32(15)-2(0)] in Madison Square Garden according to ESPN.
Both Conlan and fellow Belfast Top Rank fighter Carl Frampton were expected to be confirmed on the undercard of WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford vs Egidijus Kavaliauskas on ESPN, but not many predicted such a step up for the two time Olympian.
Both Dogboe and Servania would prove by far the best opponent the Adam Booth trained talent would have signed to fight.
Ghanaian-Brit, Dogboe like Conlan fought at the London 2012 Olympics, but unlike the Irish fighter didn’t medal. However, he has gone on to secure pro trinkets. The diminutive puncher stopped Jessie” Magdaleno – who won a world title with victory over Nonito Donaire – to claim the WBO super bantamweight title in April of 2018.
After a successful defense against Japanese opposition the London based fighter then lost the strap to Mexican puncher Emanuel Navarrete. Indeed, Dogboe had two fights against the now reigning champ losing on points in December of last year before being stopped in the last round of a May rematch.
Servania can’t quite boast the achievements of Dogboe, but the Filipino fighter would still prove a massive step up in class for the ambitious amateur World Championship gold medal winner.
‘Kashimi’ took Oscar Valdez the distance in a featherweight world title fight despite being a natural super bantam.
Regardless of which of the two names being put forward by ESPN – who are always well informed by Top Rank due to the pairs working relationship – Conlan chooses, the Belfast fighter looks set to bypass clashes with fringe world level operators, gate keepers and even noted domestic opposition.
It’s a risk, but one the fighter himself will want. If the younger brother of recent world title challenger, Jamie Conlan, wants to fulfill his March 2020 world champion prophecy he has to get to pass more noted tests and get more recognized names on his record.
Both the aforementioned tick the boxes in that regard – and Dogboe in particular could pave the way for a WBO world title shot if as, as rumoured, Navarrete vacates to move up.
The switch hitter, who has proved a ticket selling draw either side of the Atlantic, will also believe facing off against ambitious and more talented opposition will allow him to show fight fans why he is so confident he will have a historic career.