Mick Conlan confident he can show Cunningham improvements on Garden return


Mick Conlan [10(6)-0] claimed his first belt last month but the Belfast featherweight is determined to improve ahead of his return to his favourite venue.

Last night it was confirmed that Conlan will headline his third successive St Patrick’s Day card at Madison Square Garden in New York – his fifth fight at the venue in total.

The Top Rank prospect is likely to defend his WBO Inter-Continental title against a to-be-confirmed foe and Conlan is determined to put on a better showing than when he won the belt in Manchester a few weeks ago.

The Falls Road 27-year-old outpointed Doncaster’s Jason Cunningham over ten rounds – but Conlan was left somewhat disappointed with his showing in his maiden ten rounder.

The Olympic bronze medallist almost had Cunningham finished in the tenth round but the fight would go the distance.

Conlan outlined how “I wasn’t too happy with my last performance because I really wanted to get him out of there.”

“Now I’ve watched it back, it was a great learning fight and I boxed well.”

“Jason is a tough guy and I’ve big respect for him. He took a lot of punishment,” continued Conlan before promising improvements on the performance next time out.

“There is loads to improve on. There is loads I did wrong and I will go back and fix my mistakes in order to be a better fighter but I still got the win. That’s what you’ll have to do.”

“Now I have that 10-round experience, I have the confidence to do it with ease.”

The Cunningham clash played out on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s defeat to IBF featherweight champ Josh Warrington but his fight in ten weeks time will take pride of place on the card alongside a match-up of Jessie Magdaleno and Christopher Diaz.

The famous Felt Forum is a special place for Conlan who described how “I’m really excited to be going back to The Garden. It’s the best venue in the world and I’ve fought the majority of my career there so far. I can’t wait to go back and put on a great show.”

“No other show I’ve boxed on compares to The Garden on St Patrick’s Day. It’s a complete event. People go to the parade and then go to enjoy the boxing so they’re merry already. The support from the Irish people is something I love.”

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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