Saturday 22 October 2016

Conlan turned down Pacquiao undercard bout, reveals Macklin

Ciaran Gallagher

Published 21/09/2016 | 02:30

Michael Conlon. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Michael Conlon. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Matthew Macklin has revealed that Michael Conlan passed up the chance to box on Manny Pacquiao's comeback undercard in order to prepare for a huge professional debut date at New York's Madison Square Garden Theatre on St Patrick's weekend.

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And Conlan's new manager has assured Irish fans that the amateur world champion will return to Ireland for a regular yearly fight date.

Conlan confirmed on Monday night that he has signed professional terms with US outfit Top Rank, the promotional company behind eight-weight world champion Pacquiao and a host of other star boxers.


Macklin, the former European middleweight champion and Conlan's new manager, revealed that Top Rank were keen to get their new star on a November 5 card in Las Vegas that will mark Pacquiao's return to the ring following a brief retirement.

But Macklin and Top Rank ultimately decided that the 24-year-old should rest up after a hectic amateur schedule over the last year.

Read more: Michael Conlan signs professional boxing contract and puts Olympic woes behind him

"They wanted him initially to box on November 5 on the Manny Pacquiao card," said Macklin. "But we explained that the last four years have been pretty hectic - building up to the Europeans and Worlds [championships], Commonwealth Games and Olympics and everything.

"So we said, 'Enjoy yourself between now and Christmas, then get the head down in January and then make your debut on Paddy's weekend'. That's the real beginning then.

Irish Independent

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