Mick Conlan aims to cap 2018 with clean knockout title win


Mick Conlan wants to end the year with a big performance and a knockout tonight.

The Belfast feather fights British opposition for the first time in his career as he trades leather with Jason Cunnigham for the WBO Inter-Continental title on the undercard of Warrington Frampton in Manchester- and the Olympic bronze medalist is looking to make a statement.

The younger brother of former world title challenger Jamie, has to a degree been frustrated since he turned over with Top Rank.

The keen-to-kick=on talent hasn’t overly enjoyed the learning fights he has had to endure, pointing out the fact his opponents have taken a ‘survive at all costa’ approach to their encounters has made it impossible for him to show the full extent of his talent.

The Adam Booth-trained prospect believes this weekend’s opponent will come to win and thus enable him to put on a display – something he very much plans on doing.

“I feel great and I believe on Saturday night you will see a big performance from me. I don’t just want to win, I want to go and try and knock the guy out, I’d love a knockout to finish off the year,” said Conlan, when speaking to David Kelly of the Belfast Telegraph before rating his 2018.

“As I look at the last 12 months, I would say this year has been a C-minus. If we’re talking about actual development I would give myself a B because I have developed a lot but if you look at my fights this year – I knocked out David Berna in March which was good, I then let the Spanish guy run away from me in May when I felt my focus was under-par and then I had the homecoming in June against Adeilson dos Santos in the SSE Arena. That was a good learning fight but I feel I could have done a lot more, I could have got him out of there.”

Conlan makes his prediction not on the back of how good his camp has gone, or how powerful he is feeling at present, but on what he expects from Cunningham.

He argues the fact the former two-weight Commonwealth champion will come with a winning mentality will provide the Belfast man with chances to score a seventh career knockout and claim a first pro belt..

“This guy is a good test for me. I’m not going to go out all guns blazing but I want to show people what I’m capable of. I’m very interested to see what it is like when we get into rounds six and seven.

“I know Cunningham is genuinely coming to have a fight, he really is here to win and that’s what I like and I have always said that the better the fighter, the better I box.”

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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: [email protected]