Olympic medal winner Michael Conlan is going to face a former world champion this summer on a card taking place at Belfast's Feile an Phobail, according to Conlan's brother and MTK Global executive Jamie Conlan.
Conlan, top rated by the WBO at super bantamweight, is aiming get a mandatory crack at the title by the end of the year or in early 2022.
Jamie Conlan would not reveal the name of the former champion, but says the contest will be a "step up" for his brother.
He believes the opponent will get Michael ready for a potential fight with Stephen Fulton, who currently holds the WBO title at 122-pounds.
“We have agreed that he'll fight a former world champion,” said Jamie Conlan to Irish News.
“We haven't told a soul who it is but it'll be a good test for Michael. He'll ask questions of Michael, a lot of questions. He needs to fight someone who has been to the peak, who has done something he hasn't and has fought other world-level fighters. There are things that elite level fighters can do that other fighters don't and we want Michael in with someone who has been there before he steps in with (Stephen) Fulton (WBO champion) or whoever it might be.
“It's the right time for this kind of level of fight and it's the right opponent as well. We're hoping to announce the opponent by the end of this week.”
Fulton will first collide with WBC world champion Brandon Figueroa in September. The WBO would have to decide if the winner will be obligated to make a mandatory defense against Conlan.