independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Boxing: Conlan weighs up options after USA offer for World Series

Michael Conlan will move up a weight for the AIBA World Elite Championships

OLYMPIC bronze medallist Michael Conlan has been drafted by the USA for the World Series of Boxing (WSB) 2012/13 season.

Ireland had the highest number of boxers selected at the draft in Lausanne, Switzerland, with Sean Turner, Tyrone McCullough, Eric Donovan, Jason Quigley and Conrad Cummings also selected.

The Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan chose Donovan and McCullagh, with Mexico Guerreros opting for Quigley and Cummings.

The six boxers must now decide whether to accept their offers.

"We're delighted that Michael has been drafted. He's in Philadelphia at the moment at a club show with Gerry Storey and we'll discuss his options when he gets home," said Conlan's coach and dad, John.

The new season is expected to glove off in November and will see teams battle it out in two groups to try and make the knockout phase.

If he signs, Conlan's first outing will be against the Astana Arlans, and he could meet McCullagh in the 54kg class.

Meanwhile, Carl Frampton retained his IBF Inter-Continental and Commonwealth super-bantamweight belts with a crushing victory over former world champion Steve Molitor in Belfast on Saturday night.

STAGGERED

Frampton, the former Irish Elite champion, floored the Canadian in rounds three and four, and the referee finally waved if off two minutes and 21 seconds into the sixth round when the Ontario southpaw staggered back onto his feet after going down under another assault from 'The Jackal'.

Saturday's stoppage, amid an electric atmosphere at the Odyssey Arena, improves the unbeaten Belfast orthodox's record to 15-0, with 10 of those wins wrapped up inside the distance.

The emphatic nature of this victory over a quality opponent marks out Frampton -- who boxes out of Barry McGuigan's stable -- as a serious world title contender now.

That's exactly what McGuigan is aiming for -- and the Clones Cyclone reckons it's going to be "big-time" all the way from here on in.

On the same bill, Derry light-welter Paul McCloskey collected the vacant WBA Inter-Continental belt with a unanimous decision over Denver's Manny Perez.

Meanwhile, Ricky Burns defended his WBO lightweight belt for the second time in sensational style when he bludgeoned Kevin Mitchell to a fourth-round stoppage in Glasgow.

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