Jamie Conlan [19(11)-0] is more than willing to travel half-way around the world in search of world title honours and a massive pay cheque, however he would rather put on a special show in his native city with his brother for substantially less cash.
Conlan confirmed earlier this week that he is on the verge of securing a vacant WBO super flyweight title fight with #1 contender Rex Tso of Hong Kong – should the West Belfast warrior, as expected, get through his non-title eight rounder on June 17th.
Since moving to title level, South East Asian star Tso [21(13)-0] has not fought outside his native city-state, or the adjacent SAR of Macau, however Conlan revealed that that could be about to change later this year.
The WBO #4 outlined that his younger brother Mick will return to Belfast later this year for a big Top Rank card and that the American promotional giant, who also look after Tso, are planning to bring the Hong Kong ‘Wonder Kid’ to Ireland.
It may seem hard to believe that a fighter from such a lucrative market is set to come to Belfast, however it is perhaps yet another indicator of the backing which Top Rank are giving to Mick Conlan.
Jamie himself noted how “negotiations have been made a lot easier now that Mick is gone with Top Rank and Matt [Macklin, manager] is working with Top Rank on a regular basis now.”
“Matt is pretty tight with Top Rank. He’s been talking with Carl Moretti a lot about the possibility of Belfast after the summer.”
A home fight is not something which 30 year old Conlan was insistent on, indeed he was ready to go on the road to face the 29 year old southpaw with a penchant for wars.
‘The Mexican,’ no stranger to a war himself, described how “when I spoke, I spoke with the intention of going Hong Kong, Macau, whatever. I’m up for it.”
“I think half the Falls were saying they’d like an away day. The Las Vegas of the East, it would be a bit surreal seeing some fellas from West Belfast hanging around China!”
That said, Conlan believes that we are on the verge of something special in Belfast, and he is looking forward to being a central part of that and availing of all its associated benefits.
“It would be brilliant [fighting in Macau/Hong Kong], but Top Rank were of the same notion that we can create something here with myself and Michael, and build something.”
“Matt as well, and everyone behind at MTK, were saying the same thing – use everything to your advantage.”
“Alright, you might get four times more money to go to Macau, but [in Belfast] if you win, it’s what comes after financially, just go and get the world title, become world champion, and then reap the rewards of what it is.”
“If we can get it in Belfast then we can create something here that can give us the extra two percent, because every little bit matters.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show