Michael Conlan has been round boxing lengthy sufficient to know methods to do a pre-fight interview having already tipped the scales earlier than his battle this weekend.
A two-time Olympian who’s now 17-1, Conlan fights Frenchman Karim Guerfi inside Belfast’s SSE Area on Saturday night time. So what does the best pre-fight interview encompass?
1. Telling the reporter that you simply’ve had a fantastic camp.
2. Speaking up the opponent.
3. Speaking in regards to the plans that come afterwards.
Conlan is a professional. He’s completed this all earlier than and is completely comfy 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 little thing appeared to fall into place on the proper time, we’ve completed 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 risk 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 completed his homework.
“He’s had a very good few fights within the UK, with individuals from the UK, so I’ve seen a number of him,” Conlan stated. “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 obtained to remember however I do imagine I’m a number 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 fee him as a dangerous battle, a banana skin-type battle,” Conlan continued. “He can punch and he has that sort 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 very good fighter. I don’t assume he’s a simple battle.”
Moreover, there aren’t any free passes within the gymnasium 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 arduous collectively, pushing each other, and Conlan was glad for each his buddies, with Kelly profitable the British title in opposition to Troy Williamson.
“It is stuff we see daily within the gymnasium [of Kelly’s impressive win over Williamson] and stuff Adam has been saying about and what I see, so the temper is superb, we’re all in a very good 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 most likely dangle them up. My relationship with Adam is as sturdy because it was firstly, most likely 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 predicted to return by and the hypothesis is the Irishman will probably be boxing for a world title in his subsequent battle. 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 a substitute of ready till March. I fought in August and perhaps some individuals didn’t need me to battle 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 wish to face “any champion” subsequent. “Any belt that comes out there, I’ll battle for.”
This weekend, Josh Warrington defends his IBF featherweight championship in opposition to Alberto Lopez. Warrington desires to battle in America, and whereas he’s talked about having his identify up in lights in Las Vegas, an enormous battle in Madison Sq. Backyard with the Leeds warrior could be interesting for Conlan. Nevertheless, Warrington is a Matchroom fighter, Conlan is with rivals High Rank, so it’s not a simple battle to make.
“Huge,” stated Conlan, of how huge it may very well 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 battle that might do large numbers, probably 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 will most likely be higher for me if Lopez wins as a result of he’s with High Rank and it’s a battle that may very well be made a lot simpler. I like Josh, and I truly hope he wins. I believe he’s a very good fighter and I believe it will be an excellent battle with me and him.”
Conlan is aware of about good fights. He was in a frontrunner for the Battle of the Yr this 12 months, having misplaced his dramatic conflict with Leigh Wooden again in March in Nottingham. However even when that battle wins awards, they received’t imply a lot to Conlan for the function he performed.
“No, it means nothing to me,” Conlan stated. “Nothing. If I had received, after I retire it will most likely be good to see nevertheless it’s not one I’ve celebrated. It most likely will win as a result of it was a prime battle and also you at all times want that dance accomplice in boxing and that night time mine was Leigh Wooden, and I’d like it to occur once more – however whether or not or not Leigh Wooden does, that’s one other query.”