Conlan would ‘love’ to beat pro fighters en route to Rio gold

There would be no cons in allowing pro fighters enter the Olympics claims a confident Micheal Conlan.

There have been suggestions that professional fighters will be allowed to enter Rio and compete for a place on the Olympic podium.

The likes of Manny Pacqiuoa and Tyson Fury have expressed an interest and it’s possible although not likely that World champion or highly ranked contenders could partake in the Games.

The World bantamweight amateur #1 however, isn’t perturbed and claims he would welcome all comers. Indeed, you get the sense he would relish the chance to take some high profile scalps in what looks likely to be his last tournament before turning over.

“I’m happy to welcome them in,” he smiled. “I love it,” he said when speaking to RTE.

“I think we have the advantage. We’re sprinters and they’re long distance runners and it’s still a sprint. We’re not running a long distance race. Three rounds is what we do and it’s what we’ll be doing.

“They do six, eight or 12 rounds and they’ll have to come down to three. That’s quite hard.”

“I even felt it after the WSP, when I was 14 weeks straight, and fought in the Europeans,” added the 24-year-old, who was speaking at the launch of the IABA’s Let’s KO Bullying campaign at the National Stadium in Dublin on Tuesday.

“I felt the pace difference in the first fight, the first three fights, and the final was the only time I felt comfortable.

“I don’t feel I performed in the Europeans even though I won gold and got best boxer. I felt the pace was a big part of that going from five rounds to three.

“If these pros, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Frampton, feel like they’re going to come down from 12 rounds to three rounds they have another thing coming.”

Conlan has told anyone that would listen for the last four years that in 2016 he would become Olympic Champion and his confidence has yet to wavier.

‘Mystic Mick’ called it right pre European Games and World championships and remains adamant he will crying at the top of the podium this Summer.

“I’m confident in my ability no matter who I fight,” he said. “These Games are going to be exciting for me.

“I believe I’ll go there and win every fight convincingly, I believe I’ll pick up my gold medal and I believe I’ll be walking down Copacabana beach with my baby and my medal and some pineapples!

“That’s my dream. It’s going to be interesting to be there and actually go through something I have gone through in my head a million times.

“I see myself picking up the gold medal – I can see myself on the podium crying my eyes out when the tricolour is being raised and the anthem’s on.

“I can see that; it’s a lifelong dream and it’s in my head the whole time. When that actually comes true and does happen I do think I’ll feel very emotional.”

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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years