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What Homecoming? Mick Conlan ignoring Belfast bout with world title challenger ahead of NY test

Michael Conlan [6(5)-0] won’t make an amateur error in New York tonight.

The Olympic bronze medalist and World amateur gold medal winner takes on Ibon Larrinaga [10(2)-1(1)] on the undercard of Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko eagerly anticipated fight night in Madison Square Garden in his seventh pro fight.

The Spaniard is arguably Conlan’s toughest opponent to date but isn’t expected to cause too many problems.

The Belfast fighter does get the major step up he craves when he returns home for an eagerly anticipated June 30th fight night in Belfast, as recent world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos has been drafted in as his Irish debut opponent.

However, so focused is the Top Rank fighter, he hasn’t even mentioned the name Dos Santos or acknowledged he is fighting the Brazilian.

With Larrinaga having had ample notice and after putting in a hard camp, the Basque boxer is confident of upsetting Conlan tonight.

The younger brother of former world title challenger Jamie Conlan claims he made the mistake of taking an opponent lightly and it cost him dear in amateur ranks and is adamant he will never do it again.

“In the amateurs I have overlooked people and then lost,” the Falls Road featherweight explained.

“I remember Vincenzo Picardi. I beat him at the DC [Donegal Celtic] and then he beat me in the European Championships because I thought I was going to walk over him. I’ve learned my lesson and since then I make sure I don’t overlook anybody.”

Conlan returns to the Garden for the fourth time this coming weekend and is delighted to be fighting in his home away from home. The featherweight prospect upgrades from the basement Theater to the main arena and is hopeful the Irish are out in force again in the 20,000-seater venue.

“It’s very special. It’s like my second home now, but this is my first time fighting in the big Garden and I’m fighting a Spanish kid who’s 10-1 and he’s going to bring something different than my previous opponents have.” he added before discussing his second camp under the watchful eyes of new trainer Adam Booth.

“I’ve trained hard, sparring has been great and the changes I’ve made with Adam Booth since I moved to London have been fantastic. I feel like I’m improving all the time as a fighter.”


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