JAMIE CONLAN continues his progression in the super-flyweight division when he defends his WBO Inter-Continental title against Junior Granados over 10 in Dublin this Saturday.
Fighting at the National Stadium, the 28-year-old will be making his first outing since last September when he outpointed Jose Estrella over 10 exciting rounds for the belt he defends this weekend.
Undefeated in 13, the Belfast native’s career has been hindered by injuries and promotional issues since he turned professional in 2009 after a stellar amateur career, while his younger brother Michael, an Olympic and Commonwealth medallist, remains in the unpaid ranks.
Currently ranked seventh by the WBO, a win on Saturday would be a big step towards a mandatory challenger position for Naoya Inoue’s world title.
Having previously been promoted by Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions, which saw him fight on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s rematch with Kiko Martinez last year, his fight with Granados is staged by MGM Promotions and Frank Warren.
Conlan has also seen a recent change in trainer, having left long-term coach John Breen to study under the tutelage of Danny Vaughan in his gym in Marbella.
The Irishman has adept footwork, honed in his amateur days, and can plant his feet and sit down on his punches when required, all with impressive hand speed, his sharp counter-right a particularly potent weapon.
Like Estrella, Granados is a pressure fighter who comes forward in straight lines and Conlan should be able to tee off on the 22-year-old.
Birmingham middleweight Tommy Langford fights for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title against Julio Cesar Avalos on the bill, with the 25-year-old looking to capture his first title as a professional.
Avalos, who has never fought outside of his native Mexico, is a late replacement for German Ronny Mittag, who pulled out.
The 23-year-old has stopped seven of his nine victims as a professional and has been tipped for big things by his trainer Adam Booth.
Steve Collins Jnr, Anthony Fitzgerald and Patrick Hyland all also feature on the BoxNation-televised bill.