Michael Conlan 5-0 (4 ko’s) has set the bar high with what he wants to achieve in boxing. The former World amateur champion and two-time Olympian believes he belongs with the top featherweight fighters at elite level and says it’s only a matter of time before he’s sharing a ring with them as he aims to become one of the greats in the sport.
In what can only be described as a whirlwind year, the Top Rank promoted fighter says it took him time to adjust to life in the pro ranks –
“Initially it did take me some time and id say it’s only up to this point now that I’ve adjusted to the pro’s. If you look at this way, I had to change years and years of what I was practicing in training, change my technique, shots, the whole lot. So it was tough at times getting there but I’ve more of a pro style now as I’ve developed.”
Michael acknowledges that his ascent from the amateurs to the pro’s has been unheard of in terms of coverage and publicity, but it’s something he’s happy to live with –
” The past year has been unreal, it really has. I went from being the main event headlining in New York on my debut to being on the Pacquiao card in Australia and then the Loma-Rigo card there last month. I dont think anyone has done what I’ve done in terms of going from amateur to pro and headlined like that and had that kind of coverage. I think there’s world champions out there who haven’t had that kind of coverage or publicity.
“Look, it’s been crazy and tough at times, and obviously there’s a level of expectation that comes with that kind of backing, but, if you asked me a year ago would I change any of it, then the answer would be no. Id rather have come in and done it the way I have and had those experiences then do it any other way.”
Training under the expert guidance of Manny Robles has helped mould Michael’s style to the pro ranks. Currently with 3 world champions in the gym, Michael says that competition has helped spur him on –
“It’s really good, there’s so many different styles of fighter’s there in the gym so it means there’s great sparring too. It’s just been a great experience working alongside these guys and with a lot of world champions there it’s great to learn from them ever day and pick up little things you could work on, like what to do or what not to do! ”
* Check out part 2 tomorrow, when we talk about the current featherweight division, potential domestic fights, Michael’s plan for the year and the Belfast homecoming fight……