The Belfast featherweight boxes on the undercard of Josh Warrington’s IBF 126lbs title defence versus Carl Frampton and Conlan will feature prominently on the BT Sport Box Office show.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Conlan [9(6)-0] would face a British opponent and this evening it has been announced that the Olympic bronze medallist will box Jason Cunningham [24(6)-5(1)].
A veteran of eight domestic title fights ranging from super flyweight to featherweight, 29-year-old Cunningham should present Conlan with a durable and ambitious foe and one that could enable the Irishman to look impressive.
The Donacaster southpaw won the English bantamweight title versus Scott Gladwin back in 2014 before losing to Ross Burkinshaw on a split for the Commonwealth belt. He would win the strap at the second attempt the following year versus Nasibu Ramadhan and, around this time, was being mooted as a potential opponent for Conlan’s now-stablemate Ryan Burnett.
Instead of Burnett, Cunningham would drop to super fly where he was outpointed by future world champion Kal Yafai for the British title. Returning to bantamweight, he would outpoint Ashley Lane to reclaim the English title before jumping two weights to claim another Commonwealth belt with a big upset win over Ben Jones.
Cunningham then put the rainbow belt on the line versus Matchroom starlet Reece Bellotti and was winning the fight before being stopped in the sixth. A loss to recently crowned British featherweight champ Jordan Gill followed before Cunningham got back to winning ways with a Centra Area super bantamweight title triumph versus Paul Economides and he will now return to 126lbs to face Conlan.
It had been previously mentioned that Top Rank’s Conlan will make the move up to ten rounds and fight for his first title on the big bill in Manchester but these details remain to be confirmed.
The fight, the second confirmed undercard match-up following the vacant British middleweight title fight between Mark Heffron and Liam Williams, adds to the Belfast versus Yorkshire element of the bill, echoing the main event
Conlan comes into the fight following a widely-regarded career-best performance versus Italian Nicola Cipolletta in Las Vegas last month and will be looking to score his fifth win of the year, hopefully for a title, before setting his sights on a major 2019.