SATURDAY June 30 sees the “Conlan Revolution” reach these shores for the first time. The charismatic and ultra talented Irishman has taken to professional boxing like a duck to water and hopes to deliver a performance worthy of his touted reputation for his home fans in Belfast. When Michael Conlan gave the AIBA judges the finger, he did three things; go viral, signal the end of his illustrious amateur career and start a global scramble for his professional signature. Make no mistake, Conlan was one of the most sought after names of recent years. The fact he signed with legendary hall of famer Bob Arum, a man who has guided names such as Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather speaks volumes.
Some readers who are not familiar with the amateur scene may not have known Conlan outside of “The Finger” so here is a brief overview:
- Conlan is a two-time Olympian. Winning a bronze medal at the London 2012 games and infamously having a decision go against him in Rio 2016.
- In 2015 Conlan became Ireland’s first ever World Amateur Champion, winning the gold medal.
- Conlan has won gold medals at both the Commonwealth Games and European championships.
- Conlan comes from a fighting family. His dad was his first ever coach, while his brother Jamie is a well respected professional boxer in his own right.
- Conlan is regarded one of Ireland’s most successful male amateur boxers of all time.
Conlan thus far in his professional career has yet to put a foot wrong. He has beaten whoever’s been put in front of him and has put forth great performances while doing so. What makes Conlan so good is his footwork and balance. He has an innate ability to glide in and out of punching range while delivering sharp, accurate and hurtful combinations. He has excellent hand speed and a desire to let those hands go. This bodes of excitement for boxing fans. While he dispatched five of his seven victims inside the distance, he is not known as a power puncher. It will be interesting to see how his power translates as he inevitably moves up the ladder in class.