Saturday 21 April 2018

Elder Conlan's time to shine

Jamie Conlan celebrates his victory over Yader Cardoza. Photo: PA
Jamie Conlan celebrates his victory over Yader Cardoza. Photo: PA

Sean McGoldrick

Jamie Conlan's career has been overshadowed by the exploits of his younger brother Michael, the London Olympic bronze medallist and 2015 world amateur champion.

But tonight, in his native Belfast, the 31-year-old finally gets his opportunity to grab the headlines when he takes on the undefeated IBF World super-flyweight champion Filipino Jerwin Ancajas, whose promoter is the legendary Manny Pacquiao.

It has been a circuitous, though colourful journey for Conlan. He fought just once in 2012, for example, and was forced to take a variety of jobs, including working as a cleaner in a maternity ward in a Belfast hospital to make ends meet before getting his career back on track by linking up with Matthew Macklin.

Known as 'The Mexican' because of his all-action, warrior-like fighting style, Conlan is a fans' favourite, but the downside of his aggressive approach is he has a tendency to cut and his unbeaten record has at times looked in jeopardy.

Conlan accepts that he needs to produce "a very disciplined performance" if he is to dethrone Ancajas.

"I can't really get carried away. He's more a boxer than a fighter so I will have to have a different plan," he admitted.

Carl Frampton tops the bill, taking on Mexican Horacio Garcia - his first fight since surrendering the WBA world featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz last January.

Double Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes had to strip naked to make the 112lb flyweight limit, with trainer Danny Vaughan shadowing the fighter with a towel.

However, his opponent, Nicaraguan Eliercer Quezada was unable to make the weight, meaning the vacant WBO inter-continental title will only be on the line for Barnes.

  • Live, Box Nation, 7.25 and BT Sport 1, 8.25

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