Michael Conlan returns to the SSE Arena in Belfast this Saturday, just four months on since he outpointed Miguel Marriaga at the same venue.
This time he takes on five-time European featherweight champion Karim Guerfi, as he looks to mount a challenge for a world title.
The undercard, like many of Conlan’s, will be littered with talent from both Northern Ireland and the Republic or Ireland. However unfortunately, Tyrone McKenna will not be fighting, as his scheduled fight with Liam Taylor for the WBO European welterweight title has been called off.
However, fans wishing to see some of Ireland’s top fighters needn’t worry, with the both Lewis Crocker (14-0) and Padraig McCrory (15-0) set to make appearances against yet to be announced opponents.
27-year-old Kurt Walker (4-0) carries strong amateur pedigree, with over 120 bouts to his name and fights for the fifth time this year, against Nicaragua’s Yader Cardoza (26-20-1), who took Conlan’s brother, Jamie, to a split decision in 2017.
Another promising Ulsterman on the card is 24-year-old bantamweight, Conor Quinn (3-0-1), who has national amateur tournaments at both u18 and u22 levels. All of Quinn’s victories in the professional ranks have been stoppages, but he faces Manchester journeyman Stephen Jackson (1-28-1) who has been stopped just once in his twenty-eight defeats.
Meanwhile Fearghus Quinn (4-0), of no relation to Conor, challenges Graham ‘G-Train’ McCormack (8-1) for the Boxing Union of Ireland Celtic middleweight title. This will be McCormack’s first defence of the belt and he has taken a very tough fight in Fearghus Quinn, who goes into the bout as a big favourite and has beaten the likes of English champion Zak Chelli, in the amateurs.
All that being said, the highlight of the undercard is undoubtedly Sean McComb (14-1) against unbeaten Slovakian Zsolt Osadan (23-0-1), with the vacant WBO European super-lightweight title up for grabs. McComb’s maiden defeat came to British lightweight champion Gavin Gwynne, whilst Osadan fights in the U.K. for the first time and is of a relatively unknown quantity but boasts a strong record. A win for either man here is sure to fast track them to the big fights, it really is all to play for.
As for the main event, Conlan (17-1) looks to get his world title ambitions back on track, following a stunning last round defeat to Leigh Wood at the beginning of the year. Frenchman Guerfi (31-6) has been a stalwart around the European level for a number of years and was dominant against world title challenger, Jordan Gill, back in February until he was caught and stopped in the ninth round.
Despite no knockout wins in his last four appearances, Conlan remains confident of a statement performance and is expecting to knock his opponent out, he confirmed in the press conference covered by Boxing Social today.
“I believe I’ll put a damn good performance on, on Saturday night. I believe I will knock Karim Guerfi out.”
The card will be available to watch on Saturday night on Fite TV for a pay-per-view price of £9.99 or by a £4.99 monthly subscription. Fights are scheduled to start around 6pm, with Conlan making his ring walk around 10pm.