The Falls feather fought in Ireland as a professional for the first time on Saturday night, taking a big step up to outpoint former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos over eight rounds at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast.
There was a party atmosphere for the Titanic City fight, and a top undercard ensured that it was a night to remember.
Conlan [8(5)-0], headlining his fourth show as a pro, was blown away by the experience, claiming that the occassion trumped that of his near-unprecedented St Patrick’s Weekend debut at the famous Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
No better way to start your week
— Irish-Boxing.com (@Irishboxingcom) July 2, 2018
“Belfast is magical,” said the Olympic bronze medalist.
“That’s what I was thinking, the crowd, the lights, it beats the Garden in New York.”
“When I was standing there about to make my ring walk and I couldn’t help but sing along.”
“This is unbelievable, this is Belfast, this is what I’ve seen every time Carl Frampton fights.”
“If I was to retire in the morning, I could never forget that.”
“It was so special, Belfast is so special and I can’t wait to come back as it’s the best city in the world.”
He’ll no doubt be back in 2019, and 2020, and so on – but Conlan is keen for his fights at home to be even more frequent.
The 26-year-old outlined how “my dream is to fight here all the time.”
“It’s up to Top Rank, they’re the promoters so we’ll see what they conclude.”
“If I had to choose where to fight in the rest of my career then I’d just fight here,”
“I’ve lived everywhere in the world and I know I don’t want to live anywhere else but here and now I’ve boxed here, I don’t want to box anywhere else.”
Next up for Conlan is most likely a date in America in September or October and another before the end of the year.
He and Top Rank are keen on global domination but, along with an annual trip St Patrick’s Day appearance at Madison Square Garden, it looks like Belfast could become an even bigger part of their plans than previously thought.