Michael Conlan has been round boxing lengthy sufficient to know find out how to do a pre-fight interview having already tipped the scales earlier than his struggle this weekend.
A two-time Olympian who’s now 17-1, Conlan fights Frenchman Karim Guerfi inside Belfast’s SSE Enviornment on Saturday night time. So what does the perfect pre-fight interview encompass?
1. Telling the reporter that you simply’ve had an incredible camp.
2. Speaking up the opponent.
3. Speaking in regards to the plans that come afterwards.
Conlan is a professional. He’s performed this all earlier than and is completely comfortable saying, “I really feel nice. I’m very excited. I do know everybody says it however I’ve had good preparation or this one. Every part appeared to fall into place on the proper time, we’ve performed the fitting issues, I’ve made weight really easy and it’s gone rather well, so I’m trying ahead to being in there and placing a efficiency on.”
It is a field ticked. Conlan says the fitting issues however understands the distinction between saying the fitting issues and doing the fitting issues. It is just then that focus shifts to Guerfi and the menace he poses, as a result of if Conlan ignores level two and goes straight to level three, the third level won’t even come about.
Guerfi is thought to UK followers after a dramatic battle with Jordan Gill, a one-round stoppage loss to Lee McGregor and different visits to face the likes of Ryan Farrag and Zhanat Zhakiyanov. Conlan has performed his homework.
“He’s had a great few fights within the UK, with folks from the UK, so I’ve seen lots of him,” Conlan mentioned. “I do know what he does and what he can’t do. I do know he has a little bit of pop [power] and stuff, so I’ve acquired to bear in mind however I do imagine I’m a couple of ranges above him and I’ll present it on the night time.”
That’s not to say Conlan is trying past Guerfi. He is aware of what can occur if he takes his eye off the ball and the risks of doing that, so he’s paying the customer to Belfast respect.
“I charge him as a dangerous struggle, a banana skin-type struggle,” Conlan continued. “He can punch and he has that type of Kiko Martinez-like factor the place he at all times involves win each time. He doesn’t come to lie down and he’s a possible banana-skin. I believe he’s a great fighter. I don’t assume he’s a simple struggle.”
Moreover, there aren’t any free passes within the fitness center the place the Irishman trains. Conlan is coached by Adam Sales space and Conlan’s stablemates Harlem Eubank and Josh Kelly have received their most up-to-date fights on consecutive weekends. They’ve been coaching exhausting collectively, pushing each other, and Conlan was glad for each his mates, with Kelly successful the British title in opposition to Troy Williamson.
“It is stuff we see day by day within the fitness center [of Kelly’s impressive win over Williamson] and stuff Adam has been saying about and what I see, so the temper is excellent, we’re all in a great place and two wins back-to-back with Josh and Harlem, now it’s time to go once more with me,” Conlan added. “I’m at all times studying. The second you cease studying is the second you need to in all probability hold them up. My relationship with Adam is as sturdy because it was firstly, in all probability stronger, we gel brilliantly. We all know one another now and we all know the issues that work and the issues that don’t work however we’re at all times looking for various things to get higher.”
However Guerfi is the underdog. Conlan is anticipated to return via and the hypothesis is the Irishman will likely be boxing for a world title in his subsequent struggle. Conlan’s a fixture within the ring on St Patrick’s Day.
“Probably, that does appear to be the plan,” Michael admitted. “I do know I might have sat on my arms and waited to March and fought in March however the plan was to stay to what we do, have three months in 12 months as an alternative of ready till March. I fought in August and possibly some folks didn’t need me to struggle too quickly earlier than March however I don’t wish to be inactive and I wished to get again to it.”
Venues in New York and Belfast have already been booked upfront however Conlan should navigate Guerfi earlier than getting too far forward of himself. Conlan will solely permit himself to say he’d prefer to face “any champion” subsequent. “Any belt that comes out there, I’ll struggle for.”
This weekend, Josh Warrington defends his IBF featherweight championship in opposition to Alberto Lopez. Warrington desires to struggle in America, and whereas he’s talked about having his title up in lights in Las Vegas, an enormous struggle in Madison Sq. Backyard with the Leeds warrior could be interesting for Conlan. Nonetheless, Warrington is a Matchroom fighter, Conlan is with rivals Prime Rank, so it’s not a simple struggle to make.
“Large,” mentioned Conlan, of how huge it might be if Warrington and his legion of Leeds followers descended on New York to satisfy the Irish on St Patrick’s Day. “It’s a struggle that might do large numbers, presumably promote out the Backyard, and that’s the massive room, so I’d hope that politics wouldn’t be in the best way and it might occur, however it might in all probability be higher for me if Lopez wins as a result of he’s with Prime Rank and it’s a struggle that might be made a lot simpler. I like Josh, and I truly hope he wins. I believe he’s a great fighter and I believe it might be an excellent struggle with me and him.”
Conlan is aware of about good fights. He was in a frontrunner for the Battle of the Yr this yr, having misplaced his dramatic conflict with Leigh Wooden again in March in Nottingham. However even when that struggle wins awards, they received’t imply a lot to Conlan for the function he performed.
“No, it means nothing to me,” Conlan mentioned. “Nothing. If I had received, once I retire it might in all probability be good to see however it’s not one I’ve celebrated. It in all probability will win as a result of it was a prime struggle and also you at all times want that dance associate in boxing and that night time mine was Leigh Wooden, and I’d adore it to occur once more – however whether or not or not Leigh Wooden does, that’s one other query.”