ACE reporter John Dennen has all the action and reaction from the AIBA World championships in this week’s issue.
MURODJON AKHMADALIEV had pushed Michael Conlan harder than anyone else had managed at these championships. Instead of trying to hit and move off, Conlan changed his mind. He held firm, met Akhmadaliev on the inside and decided to outfight him. “The plan was to move. As soon as the first bell went, he was on me. And I went I don’t think I’m going to be able to keep this up for the three rounds,” said Michael. “I can go to war if I beat him at his own game.”
Back in the corner after the first, Michael explains, “[Ireland’s then-head coach] Billy [Walsh] said, ‘So we’re going to war then.’ I said, ‘A hundred per cent.’” It became a breathless three-round battle but Conlan, the Irish team captain, was not to be denied, taking a unanimous decision.
“You can call me the Conor McGregor of boxing,” Michael said. “I’m predicting what I’m doing and I’m coming through with what I’m saying.“