Jamie Conlan believes his brother Michael will showcase his ‘superstar potential’ in New York this weekend when he fights for the second time at Madison Square Garden’s Theater.
While Belfast’s two-time Olympian was the headline act at MSG for his professional debut last March, Michael Conlan will be a support act at the famous fight venue on Saturday night.
The 26-year-old Irish featherweight features on the undercard of a much-anticipated WBO world super-featherweight title showdown between double Olympic gold medallists Vasly Lomachenko and and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Conlan will look to extend his undefeated pro record to 5-0 when he meets Argentinean Luis Fernando Molina (7-3-1) over six rounds - live on BoxNation in the UK and Ireland – in the chief-support bout ahead of the meeting of two of world boxing’s most technically-gifted fighters.
“I think this fight is perfect for Mick,” said elder Conlan brother, Jamie. “I’m excited for him to perform on such a big stage in front of the media that are going to be covering such a big card.
“It’ll do him the world of good and it’ll propel him on to another level in terms of superstar ability and potential,” continued Jamie, who believes Molina will offer a decent test to asses how Ireland’s former world amateur champion is progressing in the paid ranks.
“Molina's someone we’ve had our eye on,” he explained. “A tough South American, who’s going to try and push Mick back. He’s got a good left hook, he’s never been stopped and he’s mixed it at a decent level as both an amateur and a pro, so it’s another step in the right direction.”
The elder Conlan recently suffered his first professional defeat when losing out in a world super-flyweight title fight to classy IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas in Belfast.
Now 19-1 as a pro, Jamie is taking a break from the ring in the build-up to Christmas as he assesses his own fighting future, while the 31-year-old was this week unveiled as Professional Development Coordinator for Matthew Macklin’s MTK Global management group.
As part of his role, he will be involved in implementing boxing-specific programs for MTK’s fighters as well as taking on coaching and mentoring duties.
“You’re just more emotionally hurt than physically hurt, but I’m feeling fine,” said Jamie on his recent defeat. “I’m looking forward to the new role now and hoping to help my fellow MTK fighters plan for their careers and improve in every way I can.
“But, for now, I’m just focusing on Mick’s fight and trying to help him prepare to get another win.”
Meanwhile, Michael Conlan is looking forward to returning to professional boxing’s most famous venue this weekend.
“It’s great to be back here in New York and it feels like home,” said the younger Conlan at today’s final pre-fight press conference. “I’ve only been here a few days, but it is class and I love the place. This is where you want to be as a fighter – there’s so many Irish here and being surrounded by your own people is great.
“It is a special place to fight. I already believe it is my home from home. The amount of fans I'll bring on Saturday night is going to be phenomenal and I look forward to coming back here again on St Patrick's Day after I get the win on Saturday.
“I feel like I'm moving along nicely - four wins, four KOs so far and it’ll be five at the weekend. Then I’ll enjoy Christmas and be back at it in the new year.”