Michael Conlan [15(8)-0] wants to ‘put manners’ on ‘angry’ TJ Doheny [22(16)-2(0)] in the Falls Park tonight.
The all-out respect approach throughout the build-up of the eagerly anticipated clash came to an abrupt halt during fight week, as a disagreement arose surrounding what weight the fight would be at.
A weight issue resolution didn’t bring about a dilution in tension and things have remained fractious since.
Former world title challenger, Doheny still cut an unhappy figure at yesterday’s weigh-in and told Conlan supporters ‘your boy is in trouble’ when the Worlds gold medalist came in fractionally over what Doheny argues was the revised 124lbs limit.
Doheny’s public disgruntlement seems to have fired up the Top Rank fighter and says he is looking forward to ‘putting manners’ on the Portlaoise native on tonight’s big Feile event.
“I have an opponent who brings that [siege mentality] out in me,” said Conlan when speaking to the BBC.
“You can see his attitude, how arrogant and angry he seems all the time. He’s got one of them faces which just looks angry all the time. I feel like going in there and putting manners on him.”
The 29-year-old doesn’t believe this week’s comments from Doheny are a ploy to rattle him, instead, he argues that the nature of his opponent, who he billed as his toughest test to date.
“That’s just him as a person,” he continued.
“He’s uptight, he thinks the world is against him. Feeling sorry for yourself type of guy. He slipped up against [Ionut] Baluta and now thinks everyone thinks he’s a bad fighter.
“No-one thinks that, we all think you’re a good fighter, but on Friday night you’ll slip up again and I’ll destroy you.”
The Belfast world title hopeful still holds a respect for what the Australian-based American-trained Laois man brings to the ring.
Conlan admits ‘The Power’ is the best he has signed to face and is his biggest test yet, although for him that’s a massive positive.
“This is a big test. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s the hardest fight of my career.
“Whether I say he’s feeling it or not, he’s a world champion. He’s the best fighter I’ll have fought and he’ll give me the hardest test I’ll have had.
“But I plan to go in and make it as easy as I possibly can. This is the first fight where I’ve felt no pressure because I can just be myself.
“I don’t have to go in and blow this guy out and have that expectation on my shoulders and get criticised after. It doesn’t matter what way I win, whether it’s on points or by stoppage, I’ll just go in and do it.”