By Terence Dooley
Belfast-based featherweight Michael Conlan (5-0, 4 KOs) believes that his fight against Hungary-based David Berna (15-2, 14 early) in New York on St. Patrick’s Day represents a step up in class and will allow to showcase the skills he has honed under new trainer Adam Booth.
The 26-year-old fights in Madison Square Garden for the third time in his career and for the first time with Booth in his corner, and he told Andy Watters of The Irish News that he hopes to secure the win before fighting in Belfast later this year.
“He’s definitely a bit of a step up,” he said. “He has a nice record—15 wins and 14 knock-outs and only two losses so, on paper, it’s a big step up but when I go in there I’ll show my class and it won’t look like much. The two fights when he has stepped up he has been beaten and I feel like it’s going to be the same on Saturday night.”
Conland made his debut in the same venue on the same night last year, but has since decided to relocate from Los Angeles, where he was previously based, to London to work with Booth, who he believes will move him to the next level as a pro.
In the meantime, the former Olympian and World Amateur Champion is looking forward to another memorable night at the iconic venue.
“Fighting at the Garden on St Patrick’s Day, it’s very hard to say there’s a better place in the world to fight because the atmosphere is amazing,” he enthused.
“Irish people come from everywhere to New York for St Patrick’s Day and end up going to the fight so it’s great—they get to enjoy it and they’re always rowdy. I don’t think there are better fans than Irish boxing fans and I think that shows every time an Irish fighter gets into the ring. I’m looking forward to it.”
Should he come through, he told the Irish News that he hopes to secure a summer outing in his hometown if Paddy Barnes manages to secure a fight against WBO flyweight holder Sho Kimura. “June time it looks like it’s going to happen,” he revealed.
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