Momentous memory – Conlan bans ‘future talk’ so he can enjoy the moment

A host of questions reflecting on how the fight went usually dominate the start of the post press fight press conference. 

However, aside from when a Fight of the Year or something extremely controversial has played out the assembled press are just waiting for enough time to pass for it to be deemed acceptable to ask the obligatory ‘what’s next question’. 

The fighters themselves usually look forward to that moment too. After weeks of nigh on robotically churning out the ‘I am focused on this fight’ line they are afforded the chance to set a new agenda, plant fight plan seeds and set about building toward the next big thing.

However, not Michael Conlan. Having recorded a stoppage victory in an atmospheric Falls Park in front of 10,000 plus fight fans and the live TV cameras all just a stone’s throw from his family home, the Belfast man wanted to bask in the glory for a period.

The question inevitably came, but the answer was different and considering the circumstances it was somewhat understandable.

The Top Rank fighter had just brought a massive night of boxing to Belfast, fought in his local park in a purposed built stadium and registered the best win of his young career to date.

The 27 year old, whose stoppage of Alberto Ruiz seems somewhat secondary to the event element of what has just played out, admitted it was ‘the best night in my sporting career so far,’ and was adamant it was night he wanted to savour. conlan F

 

Indeed, in the early hours of Sunday morning and with a party underway in the room next door the fighter who admitted he sang his way into the ring was more about ‘the moment’ than Martine McCuthcheon.

“I could sit here and tell you whats next and who is next and what I want to do next, but I am not going to do that,” a smiling Conlan told the assembled press with his daughter on his lap post his victory.

“This was the best night of my career so far and if you don’t savour nights like this your career goes by in a blink of an eye.

“The fact I this has happened I don’t need to think about whats next. I know how good I am I know where I can be so there is no point in me shouting and screaming right now after I have just spent four months of my life training hard. There is no point in thinking whats next.”

It’s different from a fighter not shy on predicting his future successes, a real change in tact, but it was genuine.

The Belfast fighter wasn’t trying to deflect nor was he trying to avoid having to talk about any particular fighter. He like the 10,000 plus people that had just witnessed a great event was happy to bask in the success for a period of time.

It was clear Conlan was brimming with the pride Carl Frampton has often displayed post one of his atmospheric nights and he just wanted time to enjoy the feeling.

The 27 year old was always an amateur purist. Olympic success not world titles was his boyhood dream and despite having a three weight world title dream the younger brother of world title challenger Jamie claims creating memories was his modus operandi when he ditched the vest.

Feile

After creating such a special one on Saturday night it was almost like he didn’t want to disrespect it by mapping out any future plans.

“I am very proud of this not just for me but my brother too,” Conlan who also noted it must be a proud day for their parents added. 

“Two boys from Cavendish Street went out there and put on a show that produced one of the best atmospheres that this city has ever seen. I don’t think you’ll see an atmosphere like that in boxing ever again. 

“You can never beat the first time. Look what can be achieved on your own door step. These are the nights I got into boxing for. These atmospheres and nights like this feeling is why I turned pro. My dream was always to be Olympic champion it was never to be world champion, but when you are in the amateur game for so long and your fighting in the arsehole of nowhere with 10 people there and maybe none cheering for you then you come here. You can’t buy that you really can’t this memory will live with me for ever.”

conlan ring walk

Conlan did take time to take a more practical look at the event and how it could help him moving forward.

Having now debuted on the top of a Maddison Square Garden theater card and all but inspiring the development of a purpose built stadium for his second home coming he feels he is now ready to fight in any environment.

 

“It’s not even about the opponent it’s about getting in there and performing in those high pressure situations. Not many people experience atmospheres like that and when they do it’s sink or swim. A lot of people sink, but I know I have that. The fact I went in and got him out pf there (proves that). I think I had to get him out of there to seal a good performance and I am happy I did.” 

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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