Mick Conlan eyes 2020 St Patrick’s Day World Title showdown v Josh Warrington

Mick Conlan [10(6)-0] is days away from his third St Patrick’s Day headline slot at Madison Square Garden but the Belfast featherweight already has something huge in mind for his fourth.

The Falls Road fighter faces Mexican hardman Ruben Garcia Hernandez [24(10)-3(1)-2] in The Theater over ten rounds on Sunday night and believes he is only a few fights away from challenging for legitimate world titles.

Following Garcia, Top Rank boss Bob Arum has plans for a Conlan and Tyson Fury double header in America in late May or early June before a long mooted Rio revenge fight versus Vladimir Nikitin in Belfast at the Féile an Phobail in August.

A winter warm-up would then no doubt follow and, come St Patrick’s Day 2020, Conlan believes he will be ready to go for world honours – and already has a champion in mind.

“This time next year it could be me challenging Josh Warrington in Madison Square Garden. How good would that be?” he asked.

Leeds puncher Warrington [28(6)-0] holds the IBF title which he took off Lee Selby last May before defending against Conlan’s fellow Belfast boxer Carl Frampton in December.

A mandatory against Kid Galahad is next on the agenda and Conlan hopes he can retain the belt for another while to allow a big showdown next year.

READ: Carl Frampton reportedly set to sign with Top Rank

Warrington, who is reportedly close to becoming a Top Rank stablemate of Conlan, impressed the former World Amateur champion with his upset win over Frampton

“I thought Josh was fantastic against Carl,” admitted Conlan who featured on the undercard against Jason Cunningham.

“He had a great game plan, he stuck to it and one thing about him is that he listens to every single instruction he gets in the corner and implements everything.”

“I was surprised because I did say before that Carl would win,” he added before noting that things would be different were he to get his chance versus the Englishman.#

“I do think when we do face each other I will do things Carl didn’t do and use movements he should have done.”

“I feel that I could expose and navigate a win against Josh Warrington. I do believe that I will beat him, but he is a better champion than I thought he was.”

“It is England versus Ireland and that adds spice because I am a very, very proud Irishman.”

Even before Warrington’s win over Frampton, Conlan was suggesting the Yorkshire pressure fighter as a potential future foe and, with the world title remaining around his waist, ‘The Leeds Warrior’ is an attractive foe.

READ: Mick Conlan targeting future Josh Warrington clash


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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