Conlan To Face Former World Champion In August

Michael Conlan’s next opponent is expected to be announced this week and the Northern Irishman will be taking on a former world champion.

The 29-year-old Top Rank super-bantamweight will return to the scene of one of the most memorable moments in his career when he fights at Belfast’s Féile an Phobail in August, two years on from an iconic scene during his ring walk minutes before he fought Diego Ruiz.

Conlan, undefeated in 15 fights, is being lined up for a world title fight at Madison Square Garden at the tail end of the year but will have one more hurdle before then. Michael’s brother and MTK Global Executive Jamie said his Olympic medallist sibling would be facing a step up in August.

“We have agreed that he’ll fight a former world champion,” said Jamie who was speaking to Irish News.

“We haven’t told a soul who it is but it’ll be a good test for Michael. He’ll ask questions of Michael, a lot of questions. He needs to fight someone who has been to the peak, who has done something he hasn’t and has fought other world-level fighters.

“There are things that elite level fighters can do that other fighters don’t and we want Michael in with someone who has been there before he steps in with [Stephen] Fulton (WBO champion) or whoever it might be.

“It’s the right time for this kind of level of fight and it’s the right opponent as well. We’re hoping to announce the opponent by the end of this week.”

Conlan is currently the number one contender with the World Boxing Organisation and will have a close eye on the September 11 unification clash between champion Stephen Fulton and WBC holder Brandon Figueroa. Should Conlan come through his test in August then a world title shot could come his way in 2021.

The August undercard is also set to feature unbeaten Belfast super-middleweight Padraig McCrory as well as the charismatic 140 pounder Tyrone McKenna. Caoimhin Agyarko, Anto Cacace and Sean McComb could also appear on the card as well.

Main image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank