Mick Conlan aims to Grace boxing with iconic ringwalk

The BT Sport social media accounts blew up on Saturday night.

Jono Carroll and Deco Geraghty’s epic third round was big, as was their post-fight reconciliation, while the heart shown by Tyrone McKenna versus Jack Catterall got people talking.

However, it was the ringwalk of headliner Mick Conlan that went viral on social media, being viewed over 435,000 times across the BT Sport channels.

Conlan’s ringwalk began with ‘Grace’, a 1985 song from Sean and Frank O’Meara which is sang from the perspective of Joseph Mary Plunkett to his bride Grace Gifford. One of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising and a signatory of the Proclamation of The Irish Republic, Plunkett was sentenced to death for his involvement and married Gifford in the chapel of Kilmainham Gaol just hours before he was executed by firing squad.

Falls feather Conlan used a haunting version of of the love song by Róisín O and Aoife Scott which prompted a spine-tingling sing-a-long from the crowd before the song cut to Kanye West’s ‘Homecoming’ featuring Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

It was a special moment for Conlan who notes how “it’s right up there with the best weekends of my life. That atmosphere and ring walk is something I expected to a degree but I didn’t expect the reaction to the music to go like that.”

“It really blew me away. I haven’t watched the fight back much at all but I’ve watched the entrance dozens of times!”

“I knew how big that song ‘Grace’ is in Ireland. I used it because it’s a song that’s close to my heart and I knew the crowd would sing along but I didn’t know how many and how loudly.”

It’s an important song for the Irishman who spent the first year of his pro career living in Los Angeles while training under Manny Robles.

“Because I lived away from home in American, it means a lot,” he said. “I wasn’t hugely into traditional Irish music until I moved away. Once I moved, it resonated with me so much more.”

“To listen to songs of home while I was missing home meant I fell in love with them. I know how it feels to be away and those songs always bring me back. It’s why I love them.”

While it wasn’t the first time he has began his walk-out with ‘Grace’, it was certainly the most memorable, and Conlan plans for it to be something of a signature song for him.

The fighter, who outpointed Adeilson Dos Santos on Saturday, explained how “what many people don’t know is that I’ve used that song when I’ve fought on St Patrick’s Day. I used it in Chicago and other places.”

“In Madison Square Garden, it’s so compact and loud that ‘Grace’ was often drowned out. In the SSE, it came across perfectly. It felt like I made it a bit my own and it could be a regular thing for me.”

“Everybody knows it and loves it but to have the song as a ring walk entrance is unique.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie