MICHAEL CONLAN believes Irish professional boxing is the strongest it has ever been and warned the world: The best is yet to come.
Conlan returns home to Belfast on Saturday when he meets Brazil’s former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos at the SSE Arena (Live on BT Sport) in a non-title ten rounder.
He has become one of the ﬂag bearers for Irish boxing and the 2015 world amateur champion, boomed: “Irish boxing is just getting better”
Conlan who hasn’t boxed in his home city since February 2011 added: “I think Irish professional boxing is the strongest it has ever been.
“We had the golden age of Irish amateur boxing, and right now it is the golden age of professional boxing.”
Besides Conlan’s march to the top, two-time world champion Carl Frampton is in the form of his life and close friend Paddy Barnes challenges for the WBC ﬂyweight title at Windsor Park in August.
Besides those success stories Ryan Burnett holds a WBA version of the world bantamweight title.
Conlan, 26, who has won all seven ﬁghts since turning professional in the United States insists he will be home to ﬁght once a year despite being a boxing darling in New York.
And he is dreaming of a triple world title bill boxing alongside Frampton and Barnes.
He said: “Guys like myself and Paddy have turned professional and Carl turned over earlier, but we have all added to this era which is going to take Irish boxing up another level.
“It would be unbelievable if Carl, Paddy and myself could all defend world titles on the same bill.
“It will be hard because of timing and stuff, but we are all with the same management team so it’s deﬁnitely a possibility.”
The undercard has produced one of the most competitive undercards ever seen in Belfast with a catalogue of 50-50 needle showdowns. World ranked Jack Catterall risks his WBO super-lightweight title against Belfast’s Tyrone McKenna.
There is a brilliant all Dublin rematch when Jono Carroll defends his IBF intercontinental crown against Declan Geraghty. When the warring rivals met in November 2014, Geraghty was ahead on the cards when he was disqualiﬁed in the fourth round.
In a clash of unbeaten hopefuls,
Derry’s Tyrone McCullagh meets Glasgow’s Joe Ham in vacant Celtic super-bantamweight title clash that doubles as a British championship eliminator.
The undercard is stacked with top prospects Lewis Crocker, Sunny Edwards, Padraig McCrory, Sean McComb, Taylor McGoldrick, Neslan Machado, Garry Cully plus Johnny Coyle and Lewis Benson who clash over ten rounds and recent world title challenger Gary Corcoran.
Tickets prices £250 (Inner Ring Hospitality), £200 (Outer Ring Hospitality), £120, £100, £80, £60, £50, £40 are available from the SSE Arena website.