Michael Conlan [14(8)-0] will be out to prove Ionut Baluta [14(3)-2(0)] isn’t an Irish kryptonite merchant come May 1.
The Belfast super featherweight takes on the Romanian with plenty of successful Irish previous when he returns to the ring early this summer.
‘Il Capo’ first came on Irish fan’s radar when he outpointed former world champion TJ Doheny in March of 2020. The 27-year-old followed that win up by taking another Irish scalp in the following September. This time Baluta stopped Rio Olympian David Oliver Joyce in York Hall to take ‘DOJ’s’ WBO European ranking title.
The Madrid resident now looks to make it a hat trick of successive Irish wins when he takes on the Adam Booth trained former amateur sensation on a BT Sports broadcast, Frank Warren promoted card this May. The battle between WBO #1 and #9 will co-main event alongside an IBF world flyweight title fight between champion Moruti Mthalane and Londoner Sunny Edwards
Baluta was linked heavily to Conlan late last year and was in the running to provide December oppossition for the Top Rank star.
Former world champion Isaac Dogboe won that race but his proposed fight with Conlan was canceled after the London 2012 Olympic medal winner suffered an ankle injury.
If Conlan manages to secure the win in just over a month’s time it should lead to a shot at WBO world champion Stephen Fulton in the Autumn.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph manager, older brother and former world title challenger Jamie Conlan said: “We’re looking at towards the end of the year for the fight with Fulton so if everything goes to plan against Baluta we are still holding out some hope of another fight in August in Belfast but obviously we know at the moment that is unlikely. But the bigger picture is dealing with Baluta and then we are firmly in the position to face Fulton.”