Michael Conlan will once again fight on familiar soil as he works towards another title shot.
The two-time Olympian and 2012 Bronze medalist is set for his third fight as he will face France's Karim Guerfi. The scheduled ten-round featherweight bout is set to take place on December 10 at The SSE Arena in Conlan's hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Conlan's older brother and former title challenger Jamie Conlan will take the promotional lead on site through his Conlan Boxing outfit. U.S. television rights were not immediately confirmed though the bout will very likely land on an ESPN platform through Conlan's career-long alignment with Top Rank who will also host a show at Madison Square Garden in New York City later that evening.
The event will mark the second straight appearance at The SSE Arena for Conlan (17-1, 8KOs) who headlined an August 6 show where he outpointed former title challenger Miguel Marriaga over ten rounds. The bout was his first since a heartbreaking 12th round knockout to WBA 'World' (Regular) featherweight titlist Leigh Wood in their Fight of the Year contender on March 12 in Wood's hometown of Nottingham, England.
There were hopes of a rematch taking place on the August 6 date in Belfast, though dashed due to a title consolidation ordered by the WBA between Wood and 'Super' titleholder Leo Santa Cruz. The bout still hasn't been resolved, though Conlan hasn't allowed the lack of progress on that front to slow down his own career.
Interestingly, he faces an opponent with a similar 2022 campaign.
Guerfi (31-6, 9KOs) also fights for the third time in a year that began with a devastating knockout defeat in the UK. The 35-year-old Frenchman was ahead on all three scorecards through eight rounds against Jordan Gill, who stunningly flattened Guerfi in the ninth round of their instant classic on February 27 at The O2 in London.
The shattering defeat was followed by a return home and to the win column. Guerfi rebounded from the setback with a ten-round points win over Mexico City's Ricardo Mercado on July 1 in his hometown of Manosque, France.
Conlan will fight in Belfast for the fifth time in his pro career, and third within his last four fights. He returned home to claim an interim WBA featherweight title over former 122-pound titlist TJ Doheny in their terrific scrap last August 6 at Falls Park.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox