Mick Conlan predicts date and venue for first World Title shot

There will be something extra special about the St Patrick’s Weekend celebrations in New York in 2020 if Mick Conlan [10(6)-0] is to be believed.

After the formalities, the parade, and the early drinking are done, the Belfast fighter believes he will give those in green in the Big Apple extra reason to party by claiming a world title.

The Top Rank starlet has set his sights on winning his first world title in just 13 months time and believes his annual fight night at Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue and St Patrick’s Weekend the perfect time.

The eager to kick on World Amateur Championships gold medal winner admits improvements have to be made before he can leave his mark on Elite level, but is adamant he will be ready to beat the best at featherweight by March of next year.

“I’d say I am on the edge [of being a contender]. I want to move a bit faster than prospects and I want to get to where I want to get to in quick time,” he told the TalkBox podcast hosted by Michael Woods.

“I would hope to be fighting, next St Patrick’s Day, for a world title. That’s my aim and that’s what I want to do, fight for a world title next St Patrick’s Day in The Garden.”

The featherweight division is certainly an eye-catching one at the minute with the likes of world champions Leo Santa Cruz [WBA], Gary Russell Jr [WBC], Oscar Valdez [WBO], and Josh Warrington [IBF]. This time next year there could be a unified champ, new title holders, and we might even see Belfast’s Carl Frampton back with a belt. 

However, going off the current four world champs, Conlan believes he is just 12 months shy of being certain he could beat any to claim a world strap, with Warrington being the particular name he has mentioned a number of times in recent weeks and months.  

The 27-year-old outlined how “the featherweight division is absolutely stacked at the minute. You’ve got the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr, Oscar Valdez and Josh Warrington. They are all the champions and I believe this time next year next year I will be ready for anyone of them.”

“That’s my God’s honest truth, I do believe by the end of next year I will be in a position where I can beat any of them.

“I am still learning, obviously. I am not going to go spout some shit and say I’d knock any of them out right now, but I’d be confident in my own ability that I could beat them now, but I am sure I would beat any of them this time next year.”

“I’m not talking shit, I’m just believing in my own ability.”

First up for Conlan, though, is this year’s trip to the Felt Forum, with the Falls Road man set to face grizzled Mexican Ruben Garcia Hernandez on Sunday March 17th, live on ESPN+.

Listen to this week’s episode of Talkbox in full below:


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com