At the age of 25, Michael is a one-year pro. A sensational prospect at 126 pounds, he was an amateur standout at the elite international level before his debut, 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 six wins, five by knockout, in his first year as a pro. He made his pro debut on March 17, 2017, at Madison Square Garden in New York and won by third-round TKO against Tim Ibarra. Two months later 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. On December 9 in New York he won a six-round unanimous decision against Luis Molina.
He stepped up to eight-round status for the first time in his last fight on March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day – in New York and won by second-round TKO against David Berna. The bout was a featured attraction with the Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam main event in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Featherweight prospect Michael Conlan, the popular two-time Irish Olympian responsible for drawing most of the crowd on St. Patrick’s Day, blew away David Berna in a second-round knockout victory.
He was fighting at the Theater almost one year to the day from when he made his professional debut before a sold-out crowd and had his pal and UFC star Conor McGregor walk him to the ring.
“It is a huge honor to be fighting in the Garden on St. Paddy’s weekend, but it is something really special to be fighting on St. Paddy’s Day,” Conlan said. “Now I want to do it in Ireland. I mean look at this crowd. We will sell out any stadium in Ireland.”
Conlan dropped Berna with a left hook to the body followed by a right to the head in the first round. In the second round, he knocked Berna down again with another right hand and then referee Eddie Claudio stopped the fight at 1 minute as Conlan pounded Berna.
Conlan had moved with his family to Southern California, but they decided to move back home. Now Conlan trains in London and was in his first fight with trainer Adam Booth, who liked what he saw.
“Now, we’re allowing him to express his natural grade as a boxer and that amateur pedigree,” Booth said. “It’s about putting in a little bit of professional spite in it, where he’s not just trading, but learning to combine smart skills with a little bit of power. Smart boxing, spiteful punching. That’s not brawling. Brawling is giving and taking, and he’s too clever for that.” [End Rafael item]
From a Team Conlan 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.