For a man whose face is regularly disfigured beyond recognition by wars in the ring, Jamie Conlan [18(11)-0] is sitting relatively pretty heading into 2017.
The past twelve months saw the Belfast super flyweight secure his first major belt, the Commonwealth title, following a Fight of the Year with Anthony Nelson. Then, outside of the ring, Conlan’s team secured their man a WBO world title final eliminator.
Additionally, Conlan’s repeated calls to bring the Boxnation cameras to Belfast were finally heeded in November. While ‘The Mexican’ himself was subsequently bumped down the bill due to opponent issues, the show was enough of a success to see Boxnation book a return date for February 18th at the Waterfront Hall.
This time round, Conlan looks set to defend Commonwealth belt atop the card before his final eliminator later in the year.
While the fights still have to be won, the 30 year old is perfectly positioned and riding the crest of a wave.
The West Belfast warrior spoke to Irish-Boxing.com about his current situation, and stated how “2016 was great. I made positive strides in the right direction with three fights, three wins, a new belt, signing with Frank Warren, becoming number 3 with the WBO, bringing big boxing back to Belfast and picking up the Fight of the Year award. Being more active and constantly in camp has been great, because in the past I was very inactive and getting a bit stale.”
“In 2017 we will just pick up where we left off in 2016. I’m hoping to be more active, with four or five fights this year, and continue making forward progress with the career – starting with February 18th at the Waterfront.”
Promoter Frank Warren has spoken of securing what would be a more-than-welcome rematch with Nelson for the bill in the Titanic City. Conlan however isn’t too fussed about opposition, and Ireland’s most exciting boxer is instead just happy to be boxing in front of his home fans.
“Who I fight is out of my control, I let the team do that side of it. All I can control is the work in the gym and improving as a boxer this year. Exciting nights in Belfast is something I’m looking forward to…” continued Conlan, before the proud older brother concluded “…and, of course, I’m excited to follow Michael’s career in 2017 as it’s the beginning of something big and special.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show