Up there with the best of them- Conlan predicts another special Belfast boxing night

Jamie Conlan is confident  next Saturday’s #MTKFightNight at Féile an Phobail will be as good as any night of pugilist action the famous fight city of Belfast has ever seen.

The MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator has played a major part in putting together a very strong card and believes the line up mixed with the sense of occasion and the event that is the Feile will gel to create a historic night for the sport.

There may have been more eagerly anticipated match ups to visit the capital of Irish boxing over the years, but the  former world title challenger, whose brother Michael tops the card, predicts the unique atmosphere and unique occasions will ensure Saturday August 3 will go down as a special night in Irish boxing history.

“For anyone who loves boxing and for anyone who loves Belfast, this is so special. We’ve seen some sensational nights of boxing in this city over the years and this will be right up there with all of them,” Conlan explained.

“It’s going to be a truly unique atmosphere in a truly unique setting. Féile has always been a celebration of West Belfast and it’s appropriate that boxing – which provides so much for so many – is included this year.”

Whilst it’s a massive night for MTK there is also massive personal significance for the former Commonwealth champion.

Jamie Michael Conlan

Conlan gets to watch his brother top a massive bill and fight in front of 10,000 plus fans just a stones throw from his house.

“I think it’s very important to enjoy rare moments like this. Our family grew up close to this park and it means a lot to us and also to the wider local community that this is happening.”

“I can only imagine how my brother is feeling about it all. I know how moving he found coming back home to fight last summer and this is a step up from that because it’s a bigger crowd in a place crucial to our childhood.”

‘The Mexican’ certainly knew a thing or two about entertaining when he was in the ring and claims the sense of occasion won’t be lost on the Top Rank bill topper. Conlan assures his brother will put on a show worthy of the stage.

“This festival is for the people. We’re proud to be from the area and from the city. We look forward to a night of celebration and I know Mick is planning to mark the occasion in emphatic style.”

Along with Conlan’s clash with highly-rated Argentinian Diego Alberto Ruiz (21-2, 10 KOs), fans will be treated to a British & Commonwealth welterweight title collision between Paddy Gallagher and Chris Jenkins and a Celtic super-middleweight clash between Padraig McCrory and Steve Collins Jr.

There are two important middleweight clashes in Luke Keeler vs. Luis Arias and Alfredo Meli vs. Araik Marutjan – plus Olympic hero Paddy Barnes, Sean McComb vs. Renald Garrido, Callum Bradley, Dennis McCann, Seanie Duffy and Dee Sullivan.

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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: [email protected]