At the age of 25, Michael is a sensational prospect at 126 pounds. Before his debut, he was an amateur standout at the elite international level, and Ireland’s most decorated amateur boxer ever – a gold medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2015 European Championships and the 2015 World Championships, and a bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games. He also represented Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games, but was eliminated by extremely controversial scoring in the quarterfinal round.
Michael started his pro career with five wins, four by knockout, in his first nine months as a pro. He made his pro debut on March 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York and won by third-round TKO against Tim Ibarra. On May 26 in Chicago, Michael won by third-round TKO against Alfredo Chanez. On July 2 in Brisbane, Australia, he won by third-round TKO against Jarrett Owen. On September 22 in Tucson, Arizona, he won by second-round TKO against Kenny Guzman.
In his last fight on December 9 in New York, Michael won a six-round unanimous decision Luis Molina.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Michael Conlan, the two-time Irish Olympian, returned to the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the site of his electric professional debut on March 17, and rolled to victory again.
Conlan cruised to a one-sided shutout decision against Luis Fernando Molina of Argentina. All three judges scored the fight 60-54 in favor of Conlan, who went the distance for the first time.
Molina was willing to mix it up in the middle of the ring with Conlan, who met him head-on and got the better of him with snappy jabs and quicker hands.
Conlan outhustled and outpunched Molina throughout the fight. Although he did not appear to be hurting Molina, Conlan threw a lot of punches, applied constant pressure and landed many combinations.
Conlan, who claimed an Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and was controversially eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Games, will box again at the Theater on St. Patrick’s Day in the co-feature of the vacant junior welterweight world title fight between Jose Ramirez and Amir Imam. [End Rafael item]
In his post-fight interview, Michael said, “I thought I used my boxing skills very well. He had a hard head.
“My next fight will be back here in the Garden on March 17th. This is going to be my Garden. I’m glad I got the rounds in. I’m happy with my performance.”
From an MTK-Global press release [Jan. 24, 2018 – excerpts]: Michael Conlan will be based in London after deciding to train under renowned coach Adam Booth.
Conlan believes his move to train under decorated coach Booth will help him kick on in the pro ranks as the former world amateur champion prepares for his next St. Patrick’s Day bout in New York.
The Belfast native had originally started his paid career training under Manny Robles in California, moving across the Atlantic to the U.S. west coast where he built a 5-0 pro record following his successful debut in New York last year.
Nearly a year on from that first pro fight, Conlan has opted to switch to London in order to be based closer to his Belfast home and family.
“I’m really excited about the move,” said Conlan, who has been testing the waters with Booth over the past week before announcing his move. “It’s one I took a lot of time to think about, but I knew if I was moving closer to home that I wanted to link up with Adam.
“I’d like to thank Manny for all his help. I really enjoyed the time we spent working together and I learned a lot, it was a great experience, but I just felt I needed a change and it was important to be training closer to home for my family.
“We have another baby on the way and I think this will make life a lot easier both personally and professionally.
“I’m really happy with how things have gone so far,” said Conlan. “I feel like I’ve got a good bond with Adam and the lads in the gym, too. I’ve really clicked with them and I’m really looking forward to getting things going and working towards Paddy’s Day in New York.
“I see the bond Adam has with his fighters. That’s something that I felt was probably missing for me, and it’s one of the main reasons I came here,” added Conlan. [End MTK-Global item]
After Michael’s debut, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said, “I think this kid can be absolutely huge. He excites people. He’s a hardworking guy. He trains every day with world champions. He’s dedicated, he’s making the sacrifices, so I think he’ll be very good.”
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Michael said, “I was born and raised in Belfast, Ireland – I’m Irish, so I don’t like to say ‘Northern Ireland.’ I have three brothers, no sisters. My brother, Jamie Conlan, is a professional boxer. [note: Commonwealth super flyweight champion, currently 19-0, 11 KOs] My brother, Brandon, used to box, but not professional, just amateur. My father, John Conlan, was a boxer when he was younger and fought at national level. Now he’s the Irish National boxing coach – he’s been coaching since I started boxing and has coached the national team for about three years. My mother, Teresa, is a student mentor.
“I was seven years of age when I first stepped in the boxing gym. My brothers, Jamie and Brandon, were boxers and like every young kid, I wanted to be like my big brothers. I followed them into the gym, and that was the start of it.
“I think I had around 340 amateur fights. I know I only lost 14. I’m naturally right-handed, but I’m ambidextrous in the ring.
“I’m engaged to be married. My fiancé’s name is Shauna. No date set yet, we’ve been engaged since 2014. I have a daughter, her name is Luisne. [pr. LOOSH-na] It’s Irish for ‘little flame.’ She was two years old on the 23rd of March.
“I haven’t chosen a nickname yet. I’ll let that come from the fans, instead of naming myself.”…