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No Pressure for Mick Conlan ahead of Homecoming Test

This Saturday night Mick Conlan has his homecoming.

Not only will the Belfast featherweight fight professionally in Ireland for the first time, he will also do so as the headliner of a massive arena show and while making a major step up.

Conlan faces Brazilian Adeilson Dos Santos [19(4)-4(2)], a recent super bantamweight world title challenger, in an eight-round contest at the SSE Odyssey Arena live on BT Sport – in just his eighth fight!

A huge stage, a huge occassion, huge expectation but there is no huge pressure for the Falls feather.

The World amateur champion and Olympic bronze medallist has been to the top of the game in the amateurs and has fought on, and headlined, massive Top Rank bills before and a homecoming test in the Titanic City will prove no issue, he claims.

Conlan [7(5)-0] explained how “I’ve never felt threatened by the pressure of living up to the expectations in Belfast. That stuff just doesn’t bother me and all I really have to do is be myself.”

“There’s a team mentality about Belfast boxers. Everyone supports each other and if one of us does well, it benefits everyone.”

“I’ve got this huge homecoming night and that has resulted in a lot of great fights getting made on the card so the whole environment is positive. It’s the same when Carl Frampton fights.”

The 26-year-old believes there is a rising tide in Irish boxing which he is very much a part of – and one which is making waves internationally.

Conlan outlined how “boxing has always been a huge sport in Ireland but it says a lot about it that you’ve got English stars like Tyson Fury and Jack Catterall fighting here these days.”

“Irish boxing is in a great place and you’ve now got some of the world’s leading fighters coming over here to experience the unique atmosphere on huge bills.”

“People are starting to acknowledge Belfast as the fight capital of Europe and that’s a special thing for this city.”


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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