Tuesday 24 April 2018

Conlan eyes Valdez undercard bout

Conlan is not looking beyond Owen, but with appearances on top promotions is vowing to take care of business. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank/Sportsfile
Conlan is not looking beyond Owen, but with appearances on top promotions is vowing to take care of business. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank/Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Michael Conlan could be added to the Oscar Valdez undercard in Arizona later this summer after what's anticipated to be a routine victory over local super-bantam Jarrett Owen at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Conlan, unbeaten in his first two outings boxing out of the Top Rank USA stable, meets the Brisbane native - who has won 5, lost 4 and drawn 3 of his fights to date - over six rounds on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao's WBO welterweight defence against Jeff Horn in Queensland.

Conlan and Jarrett are expected in the ring at approximately 3.0am tomorrow morning. Mexico-born Valdez, who is also signed with Top Rank, successfully defended his WBO featherweight title with a unanimous points victory Miguel Marriaga in California in April.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum is planning to bring the Mexican to Tuscon, Arizona and Conlan could be an added attraction: "I want him (Valdez) to fight in the summer so I can bring him back in the fall," he said.

Conlan is not looking beyond Owen, but with appearances on top promotions - including the WBO World heavyweight duel between Ireland's Hughie Fury and Joe Park of the USA in Manchester being touted - is vowing to take care of business.

Respect

"He's going to come forward, but I've been boxing guys like him all my life. I'm not underestimating anybody. I've respect toward him for getting in the ring, but come fight night I'm going to do the job," Conlan said.

"Training camp has been great. It's been tough, really tough. But at the same time I've enjoyed it. I've learned a lot in the camp."

"It's always going to take time to be the complete article. I feel I'm on the right track. I always wanted to be there for a Pacquiao fight, and the first time I'll be at a Pacquiao fight I will be on the undercard. It's special."

Arizona, Manchester or his native Belfast are all being touted as the next stop on Conlan's tour, but an appearance on the Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor undercard in August appears to be out.

"I wished him (McGregor) luck, I asked him to get me on the show, but I haven't heard back from him, I don't think its going to happen," laughed Conlan who was led into the ring by McGregor for his pro debut in March.

"It's crazy, he's (McGregor) not even a boxer and he's going to make the biggest payday for a debut."

Conlan's dad believes that Owen will be on the front foot in his hometown.

"He's aggressive and he certainly talks a good fight. Let's hope he brings a good fight because that's what Michael wants," said John Conlan, the Dublin-born Irish and Ulster High-Performance coach.

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