‘Walk Away’ – Michael Conlan tells TJ Doheny they have a backup plan
Michael Conlan [15(8)-0] has revealed they have a backup plan in case TJ Doheny [22(16)-2(0)] does walk away from the biggest all-Irish fight in 40 years.
The World Amateur Championship gold medal winner and former IBF super bantamweight champion of the world are set to trade leather at the Falls Park and on the Feile on Friday night.
However, the Portlaoise native has expressed upset that the fight is for the WBA Interim featherweight title and a 124lbs weight limit has been set.
‘The Power’ argues a 122lbs super bantamweight limit had been agreed and he would have approached camp differently if he knew otherwise.
The 34-year-old also said he wants a return to the top of the super bantamweight pile and was targeting the winner of the September 11 fight unification fight between Stephen Fulton and Luis Nery, so the WBA interim world title was of little use to him.
Top Rank star Conlan is adamant a 124lbs catchweight has been agreed and has accused Doheny of ‘crying’ whilst questioning his ‘balls’.
The world title hopeful suggested the former world champion is looking for excuses and warned Team Conlan and Top Rank have fighters on standby if Doheny takes unlikely action and pulls out of the fight.
“The fight was at 124 and agreed at 124 even if he says different, so I said I would take that — it’s an interim title,” Conlan insisted at the Balmoral Hotel yesterday.
“He’s been crying all week about this saying he wouldn’t fight at 126 and he wanted 122, but he agreed to 124 the other week. Then he said he didn’t want to do 12 rounds and had only trained for 10. If he wants to walk away from it that’s no problem as we have A, B and C on standby.”
2 years ago today, a sold-out crowd went crazy for Mick in his Belfast homecoming 🗣— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 3, 2021
This Friday, @mickconlan11 runs it back at Falls Park.#ConlanDoheny | FRIDAY | ESPN+ – 3pm ET pic.twitter.com/A81UHx1T2D
The winner of the interim title should take a significant step toward a possible WBA featherweight world title fight. The regular strap is currently held by Leigh Wood, who upset Xu Can last Saturday, while Leo Santa Cruz is ‘super champion’.
However, even if Conlan, 29, wins the strap he will look to return to super bantamweight where he is #1 with the WBO and could fight for two straps if he gets the winner of Fulton Nery.
“My aspirations are still at 122, that’s not changing and I’ll still be aiming to go where I’m going, but these interim belts open other opportunities so I said no problem. If you can add a bit more carrot to the cake then it’s nice.”
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