Thursday 23 November 2017

Michael Conlan: I would have given myself an 'F' on pro debut

 

Belfast super-bantamweight Michael Conlan in action against Tim Ibarra in Madison Square Garden. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Belfast super-bantamweight Michael Conlan in action against Tim Ibarra in Madison Square Garden. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Michael Conlan believes he underperformed on his pro debut in New York on St Patrick's Day and admits he would have given himself an 'F' if he was grading himself.

The Belfast super-bantamweight, who is signed with Top Rank USA, stopped Tim Ibarra in the third round at Madison Square Garden (MSG) on March 17 and has vowed to improve next time out.

Conlan, the only Irish male boxer to win a World Elite title in the amateur ranks, is slated to have his second outing in Chicago on May 26 against an opponent to be confirmed.

The London 2012 bronze medallist and 2015 European gold medallist could also appear on the Manny Pacquiao versus Jeff Horn undercard in Brisbane in July.

Conlan accepts that his debut was a one-off and that the superstars - Conor McGregor led him into the ring amid much fanfare at MSG - won't be around in the Windy City.

"It's just the next step. The preparations I do in the gym and sparring is what prepares me. I know these guys are not going to be there all the time. Every day is not going to be like St Patrick's Day in the Garden," he said.

"I was a big fish in a small pond in Ireland and I had a lot of media attention. It was only amateur boxing, but amateur boxing is very popular in Ireland."

Conlan was his own harshest critic immediately after the Ibarra fight: "I underperformed, that was my first thought. I know I underperformed," he added.

"I would have given myself an F if I was grading myself. I know how good I can be. I didn't show I was half as good as I am. I'm learning all the time.

"As long as I'm active I'm a great fighter. You'll just see a better fighter every time."

Irish Independent

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