BOXING: Michael Conlan out to make a huge impression

Belfast boxer Michael Conlan
Belfast boxer Michael Conlan

Michael Conlan will be looking to make a huge impression on Saturday night as he takes to the ring In Australia.

The Belfast fighter faces Jarett Owen as part of a show that will be shown on ESPN as part of the Manny Pacquiao versus Jeff Horn telecast tonight from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

And Conlan knows it is his first chance to become a big TV hit in the USA.

“I’m over the moon, it’s an amazing day for boxing in general and for me to be a part of it, it’s a complete honor,’’ said Conlan.

Like most others, Conlan didn’t know much about this deal until he was told the good news.

“I was in the dark, I didn’t know where it was going,” he admitted.

“You knew more than me. When I heard it was going to be on ESPN, I said,’Oh, this is going to be big.

“I know it’s big, I don’t really understand how big because I’m not American so I don’t know how TV works over here.

“But from a world-wide standpoint ESPN is huge all over the world - even in my home country.

“So this is big no matter what,” Conlan said.

And Hughie Fury’s WBO heavyweight title fight with defending champion Joseph Parker has been confirmed for September 23 at the Manchester Arena.

The younger cousin of Tyson Fury bids to win one of the titles the 28-year-old won in 2015 against Wladimir Klitschko. He had been scheduled to challenge New Zealander Parker, 25, in Auckland on May 6 until injury forced his withdrawal a fortnight before.

The development also comes while the Furys’ hearing with UK-Anti Doping, relating to allegations they tested positively for nandrolone in 2015, is still to take place.

“I’ve waited so long for this chance and my team have worked very hard to get me this fight and I’d like to thank everyone involved,” Fury said.

“I’m going to shock the world and prove all my doubters wrong and what better place to do it than in my home city of Manchester. Parker is a good fighter and I’ve no doubt we’ll both bring our A-game on fight night.”