They all have big fights in Belfast this Summer with Mick Conlan headlining a big homecoming card this weekend just weeks before Carl Frampton brings stadium boxing to the city topping a Windsor Park bill on which Paddy Barnes challenges for a world title.
Having two big cards with strong local representation on them within such a short space of is massive for the boxing mad city and, with a WBSS card for Ryan Burnett rumoured for September too, it shows just how popular the sport is in the capital of Irish boxing.
However, Conlan [7(5)-0] believes things could get even bigger in terms of boxing in Belfast, pointing out a fight night with three world title fights for all three down the line would be something special.
“It would be unbelievable if Carl, Paddy and myself could all defend World Titles on the same bill. It will be hard because of timing and stuff, but we are all with the same management team so it’s deﬁnitely a possibility,” explained the Top Rank fighter.
Conlan was speaking ahead of his first big pro night in the city. The former World Amateur champion invokes a ‘one fight a year at home’ clause in his contract for the first time when he fights Brazilian former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos [19(14)-4(2)] in the SSE Odyssey Arena tomorrow night.
For his triple world title card to come to fruition, Conlan will need to continue rising through the ranks – with Dos Santos being an encouragingly early step up.
Additionally, Barnes [5(1)-0] will need to dethrone Nicaragua’s WBC flyweight champ Cristofer Rosales at Windsor and hold on to the belt in a division which is becoming somewhat sparse as numerous names such as Donnie Nietes and Daigo Higa migrate north.
Then there is Frampton [25(14)-1(0)] who defends his WBO interim featherweight title against Aussie Luke Jackson next ahead of a return to world title fights, with IBF titlist Josh Warrington waiting in the wings.
Conlan believes, as he has stated numerous times, that a ‘golden era’ for Irish pro boxing is inbound.
“We had the golden age of Irish amateur boxing. Now we’re coming in to the golden age of professional boxing in Ireland with all these guys turning pro, including myself, Paddy and even the likes of Carl, who turned pro a bit earlier.”
The Falls featherweight, who has topped two cards in New York and one in Chicago, is delighted to be home and ready to taste that unique Belfast atmosphere for the first time.
“I’m delighted to be back. It is a long time since I have boxed here and getting in front of that crowd will be a huge buzz. Once I walk out there it is game time and I’m ready to go. I have had support from all over the world since Rio.”
“The atmosphere is the thing I’m looking forward to most,” he continued. “It’s going to be unbelievable. On both St Patrick’s Days I’ve boxed and the atmosphere at those events have built me for this one.”