I want more fights in Belfast: Michael Conlan

Michael Conlan celebrates winning
Michael Conlan celebrates winning

Michael Conlan wants more big fights in Belfast as his homecoming on Saturday night saw him see off Adeilson dos Santos at the SSE Arena.

The Belfast featherweight oozed class, pedigree and style as he beat his rival 79-73 on points after 10 fast-paced rounds.

The stoppage that Conlan craved never materialised but we have to remember this was only Conlan’s eighth fight as a professional so he will need more time to develop and learn the dark arts of the pro ranks.

And Conlan - after fighting in America and Australia - says it was something special to fight in his home city.

“Belfast is magical. That’s what I was thinking, the crowd, the lights, it beats the Garden in New York,” he said.

“When I was standing there about to make my ring walk and I couldn’t help but sing along.

“This is unbelievable, this is Belfast, this is what I’ve seen every time Carl Frampton fights.

“My dream is to fight here all the time.

“It’s up to Top Rank, they’re the promoters so we’ll see what they conclude.

“If I had to choose where to fight in the rest of my career then I’d just fight here,” said Conlan.

And the Belfast boxer was not totally happy with his performance against the tough Brazilian.

“I know I could’ve done an awful lot of things better but at the same time I’m learning on the job, I’m working on things,” he said. “I was in there with a decent fighter, a former world title challenger who was game as a badger, awkward as hell and his arms were longer than my whole body.

“I’ve got to go back and work on how to control his pressure.

“I was letting him walk me down a few times instead of maybe just holding my feet a bit more and doing things to make him stop walking forward.

“But was I 100 per cent in my performance? No, I’m way better than that, I’m a professional and I could’ve done a lot better but I’m happy to come away with that experience feeling what it’s like.”