Michael Conlan [13(7)-0] is confident he will fight for a world title in his next fight.
Early 2020 rumour suggested the Belfast featherweight would take a step up in New York on St Patrick’s Day before challenging for a world title in Falls Park and at the Feile in August.
With the March clash being cancelled and boxing suspended for the foreseeable future, it looked as if the Adam Booth trained fighter may have to bide his time and wait until 2021 for a tilt.
However, it seems the current pandemic hasn’t derailed the 28-year-old’s world title plans.
Conlan is confident he will fight for a world title when he next returns to the ring.
Conlan’s Top Rank stable mate Shakur Stevenson revealed he is moving up to super featherweight, which effectively puts the Irish fighter to trade leather for his vacated WBO title.
“It (Stevenson moving up) has opened the door,” said Conlan when speaking to the Irish News.
“It was supposed to be the St Patrick’s Day fight and then the title shot for me but I’d say it’ll be straight to the title shot now. I’m still hoping that I’ll box for the world title this summer and I’m still on course for that so, all being well, it’ll go ahead.”
As #1 number one in the WBO rankings Conlan is next in line and first port of call with regard to challenging for the belt – and he remains hopeful he will get to fight for it at the Feile.
“I’m the number one contender so I’m delighted to be honest. I always believed that I’d win a world title this year – hopefully in Belfast – so all being well Feile will be when it happens but it all depends on when boxing can get back.”
Ruben Villa is #2 in the rankings making the Californian southpaw a likely world title foe, but Ryan Walsh, Miguel Marriaga and Jesse Magdaleno may also be in the frame.
Walsh will be familiar to Irish fight fans having recently added Tyrone McCullagh to his list of Irish scalps – the English fighter has also defeated James Tennyson and Marco McCullough.
Walsh has a Golden Contract final and fight with Jazza Dickens to look forward to but may be lure to Belfast by the prospect of a world title fight.
It’s a fight that appeals to Conlan.
“Ryan Walsh would be a good fight for me. He’s closer to home and obviously he’s just beaten my mate (McCullagh) so I’d like that fight,” he added before revealing he would have no problem fighting former gym mate Magdaleno.
“It’s business, if we have to fight each other it’s no problem, I can still be mates with the guy, it’s just business. If it’s Jesse, it’s Jesse and if it’s someone else, that’s OK too.”