MICHAEL CONLAN: Belfast boxer’s ‘assassin’s mentality’ against Adeilson Dos Santos

Michael Conlan is ready for Saturday's big fight night. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Michael Conlan is ready for Saturday's big fight night. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Michael Conlan will put his perfect record on the line tomorrow night as he takes on Brazilian Adeilson Dos Santos at the SSE Arena in Belfast.

The fight is Conlan’s first fight in his home city since he competed in the Ulster amateur championships in February 2011 and the Belfast fighter cannot wait to get started.

“I’m delighted to be back,” he said. “It is a long time since I have boxed here and getting in front of that crowd will be a huge buzz.

“Once I walk out there it is game time and I’m ready to go. I have had support from all over the world since Rio.

“Top Rank have done a great job and made New York feel home from home. I want that rematch with Vladimir Nikitin who got that decision in the Olympics and, now Top Rank have signed him, it will happen.

“They went out of their way to sign him because it has to happen,”

And Conlan - who is now working under coach Adam Booth - is taking nothing for granted when he steps out at the Belfast venue.

“Dos Santos is a big puncher who is dangerous when he throws hooks and it’s a step up,” said Conlan. “If I was fighting a nobody fans wouldn’t come. I will have an assassin’s mentality and be destructive.

“There’s hype around me but I won’t let it get to my head. I’m looking forward to Saturday night.”

And Brad Jacobs from Top Rank is delighted their young charge is fighting in Belfast.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the Conlan family,” he said. “Michael has been fighting all over the world and we’re thrilled to make this happen.

“It is up to Michael how quickly he wants to move, but we’re moving up the competition with Dos Santos. A world title challenge could be inside one and a half years.”

There are three title contests on the card. Jack Catterall’s WBO Intercontinental Super-Lightweight title defence against Belfast’s Tyrone McKenna, Jono Carroll risks his IBF Super-Featherweight belt against Declan Geraghty and the vacant Celtic Super-Bantamweight championship is on the line between Tyrone McCullagh and Joe Ham.