New Beginning Countdown: Jamie Conlan in-depth

‘New Beginning: Conlan-Granados’ is just two days away, and it is now time for irish-boxing.com to take an in-depth look at the main man, headliner Jamie Conlan.

Conlan’s [13(8)-0] ring moniker is ‘The Mexican’ – a reference to both his appearance and, more importantly, his exciting style. A skilled boxer but also a hard-hitting puncher, Conlan will be aiming to impress Dublin fight fans, and the TV cameras, this weekend. At 5’7″, the Belfast man has another advantage of being a very large super flyweight.

A former star amateur, Conlan has enduring a frustrating professional career so far with injuries and inactivity limiting the amount of time he has spent in the ring – so much so that he had considered retiring. 2014, however, was a good year for Conlan who fought three times – winning the WBO European title against Benjamin Smoes, via KO, before defeating Jose Estrella for the WBO Intercontinental belt. Sandwiched between these two bouts was another knockout win against Gabor Molnar.

Saturday’s fight will be 28 year old Conlan’s first with new trainer Danny Vaughan after he made the difficult decision to relocate to Macklin’s Gym Marbella – away from his childhood trainer, the legendary John Breen. The team mentality of the MGM stable is a perfect fit for Conlan who feels he is in the best shape, mentally and physically, of his career.

While Andy Lee is widely known as the nicest man in boxing, Conlan certainly gives him a run for his money in the gentlemen’s stakes – the 28 year old is one of the friendliest and most courteous boxers around. In addition, Conlan idolises his younger brother Michael, calling the Olympic bronze medalist his favourite ever boxer and identifying the night Conlan Jr. won his first Irish title as one of the happiest moments of his life. It is impossible not to root for ‘The Mexican.’

On Saturday, Conlan defends his WBO Intercontinental title over ten rounds against Junior Granados [13(8)-2(1)-1], in a top-of-the-bill clash. 22 year old Granados hails from the Yucatán region in Southern Mexico. Granados is a typical come-forward Mexican fighter and has previously held continental honours at flyweight. While Conlan is heavy favourite going into the bout, Granados has been very confident in the lead-up, stating that he will prove that he is the ‘true Mexican.’

Doors open at the National Stadium at 6pm and tickets are available from ticketmaster.ie. ‘New Beginning: Conlan-Granados’ will also be shown live on Boxnation from 7pm.

The weigh-in for the fight night is tomorrow, Friday 3rd, at 2pm in Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre.

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