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Sun sets on Showtime Summer – Michael Conlan’s world title plans forced to change

Michael Conlan will have to wait until late this year at the very earliest to get his hands on a world title.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum has suggested a world title shot would be the prize if he overcomes Ionut Baluta live on BT on April 30th

Indeed, legendary promoter Arum has said an August showdown with WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton was on the cards.

Conlan has also spoken positively about challenging the American and a fight for a title he believes he would have fought for in Belfast last August but for the pandemic.

However, it now appears Fulton has other plans and won’t be fighting the WBO#1 regardless of what happens in England later this month.

When confirming Showtime’s summer schedule Stephen Espinoza confirmed ‘Cool Boy Steph’ will fight on September 11th and not against the Olympic medal winner.

Showtime will put on a unification fight between the winner of Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa’s WBC super bantamweight world title fight.

That would mean come September time either Fulton, Nery or Figueroa will hold two of the four titles on the table. The other two, WBA and IBF, are held by Murodjon Akhmadaliev, a fighter Conlan beat to become Ireland’s first-ever senior World Championships gold medalist.

Akhmadaliev would be an option and there is a strong narrative there but the Uzbek may be tempted to go the undisputed route considering come September he would be just one win away from holding all four belts.

If Conlan can’t get a summer title bout, with Isaac Dogboe may appeal. The Belfast ticket seller had already agreed to fight the former world champion only ankle injury to mess up those plans. The Ghanaian would prove an exciting and useful bridging fight.

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

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