Sofiane Takoucht warns Michael Conlan ahead of crossroads clash

It’s good matchmaking on the surface admits Sofiane Takoucht [35(13)-4(1)-1].

Top Rank have got a recent world title challenger, a name known in the Ireland and the UK on the back of his Josh Warrington fight, and a former two-time European champion in to fight rising star Michael Conlan [13(7)-0] in London on August 15.

They have also got a 34-year-old veteran with substantial miles on the clock and a fighter who himself admits has one eye on the journey’s end.

The French veteran claims it’s very clever from those who look after the Olympic bronze medalist, securing a high enough profile name likely to be on the wane.

However Takoucht warns there may be some fight left in the old dog.

Speaking to Irish-Boxing.com, Takoucht was adamant he will fight to fight until the bitter end of the BT Sport broadcast clash at the York Hall this Saturday night.

The Ardennes puncher, who fought for Josh Warrington’s IBF featherweight world title in his last outing, also warned the popular Belfast fighter against underestimating him.

“Michael’s team were right to choose me because I am almost 35 years old, and I am closer to the end than the beginning,” Takoucht told Irish-Boxing.com.

“I’d just advise him not to underestimate me otherwise he could be in for a big surprise,” he continues before revealing he still has big fight dreams and a win over Conlan could keep them alive.

“The fight with Conlan is a big opportunity for me. Boxers like me, without a manager, with small means, take it fight by fight, dreaming of one day being a great champion. Boxing is magic because until the final bell rings, the fight is not over.”

Takoucht had no qualms taking the away corner opportunity, recalling that “as soon as I was offered the fight I jumped at the chance.”

“Michael Conlan is a great champion for Ireland and it’s an honour to have the opportunity to fight him, because in France nobody wants to box me.”

Although Conlan seems to be going the super bantamweight world title route initially, Takoucht does provide him with the chance to make favourable Warrington comparisons.

The London 2012 Olympic medalist has called for a fight with the Leeds native previously and is confident he has the beating of the Matchroom workhorse.

Takoucht, who was stopped in two rounds by Warrington, is a fan of the world champion and believes Conlan is still some distance off only the second man to defeat Carl Frampton.

“Warrington is a great champion, he is in the prime of his life and has a good team. For me he may be the best Englishman at the moment at any weight.

“There is still a little work for Michael to do to reach Warington’s level.”

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 sport for a living for 19 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