29 August 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
First impressions can last a lifetime so Belfast flyweight Jamie Conlon is taking no chances as he prepares for his professional debut on October 9.
Not only will Conlon have to contend with first night jitters, but the former St John Bosco clubman will also have to impress a full house at his hometown Odyssey Arena. But rather than feeling nervous, the former amateur star is champing at the bit to climb through the ropes.
“Im busting,” he told irish-boxing.com.
“I cant wait to get going and show the world what I have been taught here (in Breens gym) and what I learned in the amateurs.
“As an amateur I won four Ulster Senior titles, five national titles up to Under 21 level. Two Four Nations Titles and one silver. I got to the quarter-finals of the EUs and the European Youths and a lot of multi-nations. But this is something I always wanted to go for.”
Adapting to life in the pay-per-punch arena is something that many top amateurs have failed to do in the past, but Conlon believes he has the mentality, the support team and the physical tools to progress.
The gym is roasting. You train every day. Your physique you can see muscles that you didnt have before. You feel stronger. John will tell me what to do and all I can do is try to do it. Bring it up over two years towards a British title
“There isnt that much out there (at my weight) so you can get a shot pretty quickly. Its not speed we are looking at though. We are working on technique and styles – then hopefully we will do something big.”
Conlon identifies himself as one of a new batch of Irish pros in the lower weight divisions a batch he sees growing in the coming years.
“I think Carl Frampton has the perfect style,” he said. “He is nice and compact and can bang with both hands. Hes a super-bantamweight and Martin Lindsay is around that weight as well.
“We have six or seven young fellas coming up looking good. Kevin OHara isnt so young anymore but he is still top class and can be thrown into the mix. And then there are the Hylands down South too. So the lower weights are very exciting for Irish boxing and it is great to be a part of that.”