BOXING: Michael Conlan to sparkle in New York on St Patrick’s Day

Michael Conlan
Michael Conlan
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A “new and improved” Michael Conlan will enter the ring on St Patrick’s Day in New York when the former world amateur champion returns to the scene of his professional debut.

Belfast featherweight Conlan will fight at Madison Square Garden’s Theater for the third time following two successful appearances in the Big Apple last year.

The 26-year-old defeated Argentina’s Luis Fernando Molina on the undercard of Vasyl Lomachenko’s win over Guillermo Rigondeaux last December, while Conlan made a victorious paid debut with a stoppage win over Colorado’s Tim Ibarra last March.

That St Patrick’s Day bout attracted a sell-out crowd of 5,000 raucous fight fans and another large contingent of Irish supporters are expected to travel to the Garden for Conlan’s March 17 return this year, with pre-sale tickets now available online via Ticketmaster.

Having recently moved to London to link up with trainer Adam Booth, Conlan believes he will be ready to deliver a career-best display when he takes to the ring at the Garden.

“The first few weeks with Adam have been great,” said Conlan. “I feel like I’m learning all the time and even though we haven’t been working together long I think it will be a new and improved version of me that steps into the ring on St Patrick’s Day.

“I’m looking forward to starting sparring now because I’m learning little things that I want to try in the ring,” added the 2012 Olympic medallist.

“The winning mentality in that gym is great,” said Conlan. “Everyone is pushing each other and everyone wants to be the best – but not in a bad way – it’s a good, friendly rivalry in the gym where you’re being pushed all the time.”