Mick Conlan [6(5)-0] has confirmed he will face his toughest test to date when he fights in Belfast as a professional for the first time.
A hotly-anticipated homecoming was confirmed for June 30th last week and Conlan will top an SSE Odyssey Arena-hosted BT Sport-broadcast bill this coming Summer.
The Top Rank-promoted talent made sure his contract with the promoters famed for building stars Stateside had a clause that ensures he fights in Ireland once a year.
Conlan elected against fighting in Ireland in 2017 but will now come back bigger this Summer, reasoning that he wanted to make sure that when he traded leather in Belfast in was in meaningful action rather than a learning fight.
No opponent has been officially confirmed as of yet for the June bill – which should provide a host of Irish talent the chance to impress live on a big card sandwiched between Carl Frampton’s win over Nonito Donaire and his massive August Windsor fight night – but the younger of the two boxing brothers predicts an exciting match-up.
It is believed that Conlan, who will have five six-rounders and two eight-rounders under his belt by then, will be stepping up to ten-round title level and fighting for a rankings title from one of the four major sanctioning bodies.
“For me, to be back in Belfast is a dream come true. Once I signed the professional contract in America with Top Rank, one thing I wanted to make sure is that once a year I would fight at home,” said Conlan.
“The first year, it hasn’t been doable because I wanted to wait for a really meaningful bout. This time it’ll be something very good and I can’t wait.”
The Adam Booth-trained 26-year-old seems to be one that welcomes pressure, and topping a bill in the fight mad city seems like that something that would excite rather than worry him.
However, he claims he won’t get overexcited upon realizing a dream thanks to his experience Stateside. The popular puncher has already topped two St Patrick’s Day bills in front of raucous fans at New York’s Madison Square Garden Theatre and he believes that has provided him with valuable experience of the ‘handling the occasion’ element which top fighters will have to deal with at various times in their careers.
“What’s good is that because of what I’ve experienced at Madison Square Garden, I’ll be in control of my emotions. I’ve already fought in front of mass support and it’ll stand me in great stead,” he noted,
“In some ways, I have to treat it as just another fight. These guys are there to test for me different things. This guy will provide another test – my toughest test – but it’ll be another win for me. It’s a plan and simple task so I just do my job.”
Before thinking about Belfast, Conlan must first claim win number seven on May 12th. here, at the Madison Square Garden Arena, he fights Spaniard Ibon Larrinaga [10(2)-1(1)] over eight rounds.