No celebrations (yet) for birthday boy Jamie Conlan


Jamie Conlan [19(11)-0] turns 31 today, but the Belfast super flyweight won’t be acknowledging that fact.

‘The Mexican’ is fully focused on his upcoming world title fight on Saturday November 18th, when he takes on IBF champ Jerwin Ancajas at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

Everything is pointed toward that night in just over five weeks time and Conlan is keen to remove all distractions ahead of the big bout.

Since HBO brought Roman Gonzalez onto their channel two years ago, the super flyweight class is increasingly becoming one of boxing’s glamour divisions.

Always a hotbed of talent, the scarcity of English-speaking fighters led to the 115lbs division being somewhat overlooked by Western fans.

This is all changing however, and last month HBO ran ‘Super Fly,’ a bumper card featuring two super flyweight world title fights and one eliminator. ‘Super Fly 2’ is already in the pipeline, and all the current champions are in the reckoning for big fights, but Conlan does not want to get ahead of himself.

While a win next month could be a ticket to the big time Stateside, Conlan hasn’t even considered this possibility.

“I don’t even think about what happens after this fight,” stressed Conlan.

“I am focused on this fight and it’s such a dream to have it in your home city. To win a world title against one of the best fighters in the World and to do it in a cauldron atmosphere that the SSE Arena brings and do it in front of people I went to school with or trained with over the years is brilliant.”

While the atmosphere will be intimidating, Conlan does not plan on ‘turning heel’ for the fight. One of the nice guys of boxing, ‘The Mexican’ wont be engaging in press conference spats or weigh in shoves.

“There is no need for that,” said the St John Bosco graduate.

“At the end of the day I won’t change who I am to suit someone else. I am who I am and I am comfortable with who I am.”

“I will never be someone who I am not. What’s in the ring is all that matters.”

It’s a massive step up in class for Conlan, but the focused fighter is ready to take his opportunity.

The world title fight is a leap in levels, and comes to Conlan without a fringe world-level fight so to speak. This does not worry the Irishman though, and he plans for November 18th to be the culmination of a lifetime’s work.

“I have taken a lot of punishment in some fights, so why not just get in for the big one now?” reasoned Conlan.

“I have had 200 plus amateur fights. I have fought every style imaginable as an amateur and a pro.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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