Headline NewsNewsPro News

Rankings merry go round puts Conlan in super bantamweight world title frame

A round of WBO ranking musical chairs has left Michael Conlan [13(7)-0] sitting in a good position to pick up a prize.

The governing body revealed their updated rankings today and it saw some big changes, particularly in the case of the Belfast fighter.

The Olympic medal winner was ranked at featherweight by all four recognized governing bodies as recent as this morning, but is now deemed a super bantamweight by the WBO.

The World Boxing Organisation have moved the talented Adam Booth trained fighter from WBO#1 at featherweight to WBO#3 at the weight below.

The move comes as Emanuel Navarrete vacates the WBO super bantam world title to move up to feather and become mandatory for a title vacated by fellow Top Rank fighter Shakur Stevenson.

It now appears as the big punching Mexican will fight Jessie Magdaleno, a fighter Conlan has been linked with in the past, for the vacant strap.

Undefeated Americans Stephen Fulton and Angelo Leo look odds on to challenge for the title vacated by the aforementioned Navarrate, with Conlan in prime position to fight the winner.

It all fits into the time frame recently laid out by the Top Rank star. The weight may be different, but a title shot remains just around the corner.

The 28-year-old will step up against recently world title challenger Sofiane ‘Babyface’ Takoucht in London on August 15, victory there could lead to a December world title shot.

March and a massive night at Madison Square Garden may appeal more, but regardless Conlan is within touching distance.

The Belfast fighter was due to challenge for the vacant WBO featherweight title at the Feile in August, only for the pandemic to put paid to that dream night.

The two time Olympian has never weighed 122lbs limit, but has been within touching distance, something relatively normal for super bantamweight’s in non title fights.

He did rule out campaigning at the weight after his March revenge win over Vladimir Nikitin, but upon further reflection is obviously confident of being able to compete at the lower weight.

Other Irish fighters ranked in the new WBO rankings include James Tennyson #9 at lightweight, Carl Frampton #8 at super featherweight and David Oliver Joyce #12 at super bantamweight.

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 sports for a living for over 20 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