Coach Adam Booth was pleased with his young fighter Michael Conlan’s display on Saturday night at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
And Booth says the experience will be good for Conlan before he takes the next step in his professional career.
“He’ll have to adapt and toughen up because there will be shots that hit him on the gloves or the side of the head and he’ll have thought ‘I felt that’, but he’ll adapt to it and take the defensive work more seriously,” said Booth. “There was one moment in round six or seven when he was against the ropes but he stopped before the attack was over and I said to him ‘If you’re going to be defensive, do not stop until it’s over – either you’re clear or he’s holding on to you’.
“The next round Dos Santos came out at 100 miles an hour and he stayed with defence, defence, defence until the fella couldn’t keep missing him more and it was nice because there was a little ripple of applause from the crowd because, for me, that’s skill.”
And Booth says he was impressed with Conlan in their third fight together as fighter and coach.
“I’m more satisfied with tonight than I was with the other two,” he said. “You could see the things he’s been working on and he had the thing about the homecoming and the crowd and that all takes your energy.
“It was hot in there too.
“He’s got a southpaw game long.
“He’s got orthodox game long and he’s got inside game.
“He switched from one to the other quite a few times and that’s what we’re going to take from this.
“He’s going to watch it and identify what we can do in the gym and that’s going to make him more confident when he needs to do it.”
And Booth says Conlan has the ability to box in a number of ways as he progresses through the professional ranks.
“There were three different styles,” said Booth. “Nice and loose southpaw, long-range playing with the distance, orthodox playing with the distance and teeing up shots and being on the inside, drum-rolling the punches and actually roughing the dude up.
“I thought he did all three.
“He’d never done all three in a fight before and to transition from one style to the other takes energy.
“We’ve drilled it in the gym but to do it under the spotlight is still going to take more out of you.
“Once you get accustomed to it, it really puts a problem on the other dude because he doesn’t know what style he’s supposed to be competing against.
“He has the different styles I like and we need to nurture them under the spotlight and tonight was the first time we had a chance to do that.”
And what about Conlan’s next fight?
“We’re thinking December,” said Booth. “I don’t care what’s attached to it.
“A fight’s a fight and as long as he takes a step I’m happy.
“I’m very happy with tonight.”