'Time waits for no man' says Jamie Conlan as he targets world title shot

Jamie Conlan tops the bill at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast on March 10 when he takes on Yader Cardoza (22-10-1) for the vacant WBC International Silver title
Andy Watters

JAMIE Conlan turned 30 in November and, while there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank, the Belfast super-flyweight says “time waits for no man” and wants this to be the year he lands his long-awaited title shot.

‘The Mexican’ tops the bill at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast on March 10 when he takes on Yader Cardoza (22-10-1) for the vacant WBC International Silver title.

“I’m getting on a bit now,” he said with a laugh.

“But seriously, time waits for no man and I would like it to be this year – I’ve been working towards this year and all I can do is keep winning. That’s my job and Frank Warren and his team have their job which is to get the fights and line people up.

“I have to control the controllables. This year I’m hoping for four or five fights and in the end I’m hoping for the world title fight. All I can do is keep winning and move on to the next one.”

The Waterfront Hall bill was put back three weeks after Conlan picked up a chest infection after returning home from a training camp in Los Angeles where he worked alongside younger brother Michael at Manny Robles’ Rock Gym.

His opponent Cardoza has 10 defeats on his card but he has been in with some good company – the Nicaraguan lost a WBC light-flyweight title challenge on points against Adrian Hernandez back in 2013.

“I’m looking forward to it,” says Conlan.

“I’ve watched him and it (his style) makes for an exciting fight. I think we’ll gel pretty well – he’s non-stop aggression, throwing punches left, right and centre and he’s in your face from the first minute. It’ll be a tough fight but I think it’ll end in my favour and the fans will be happy with it.

“I’m hoping it won’t be another barnstormer, but I’ve a feeling that’s the way it’s going to go.”

Conlan added: “He’s a former word title challenger and he has fought world-level fighters before so he’s not going to be out of his depth.

“It’s a step in the right direction. I’m pushing forward for bigger and better things and this is just another step on the ladder.”

Lion-hearted Conlan is ranked number two in the world with the WBO and nine with the IBF so his move down the WBC route comes as a surprise.

“Frank Warren is saying that we’re going to keep our options open,” Conlan explained.

“At the minute I think I’m number 15 with the WBC and we want a higher ranking to see what’s going to open up first.”

The super-flyweight division is one of the most competitive in the world at present – WBC champion Roman Gonzalez is ranked number one in the pound-for-pound listings while WBO champ Naoya Inoue is number 10.

“You want to fight the best and I want to fight whoever is up there,” said Conlan.

“But you also have to be smart in this game and you have to pick who you think is the most viable option, whatever comes first I’ll happily take it. I don’t look at the opponent, I just look at the belt.”

PADDY Barnes could be lining up a challenge for Kevin Satchell’s EBU flyweight title.

Satchell and Barnes will both feature at the Waterfront Hall on March 10 and could face each other later this year.

The Irish News understands that ‘Wee Man’ Barnes had plans to fight for a title at the Waterfront – in only his second professional contest – but they were blocked by the British Boxing Board of Control. However, Barnes wants to move his career along quickly and will fight an eight-rounder on March 10 against an as yet unnamed opponent.

Unbeaten Satchell has a 16-0 record and the British and Commonwealth champion and looks a natural next step for Barnes who made his debut at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in November last year against Stefan Slavchev.

Slavchev was disqualified for lifting Barnes off the canvas and the two-time Olympic medalist will hope for a better class of opponent at the Waterfront before moving on to his proposed rumble with Satchell who holds a win over Belfast scrapper Luke Wilton in 2013.

CARL Frampton remains determined to get Leo Santa Cruz into the ring in Belfast this year.

Since winning his Las Vegas rematch with ‘the Jackal’ in January, Santa Cruz has poured cold water on making a trip to Belfast for a third, and defining, rumble. Last week he claimed that his father Jose was opposed to the fight because he felt he wouldn’t get fair treatment, but Frampton claims that the LA-based Mexican will get the “biggest payday he’s ever had” for defending his title on Irish soil, possibly at Windsor Park in June.

The WBA look set to order a featherweight title rematch between Santa Cruz and Abner Mares this week, but that could be delayed if an agreement is reached with Frampton who says that gate receipts and TV money from a Belfast fight will make the fight very attractive financially.

“If he then still doesn’t want to fight me, then you have to say his bottle is gone,” said Frampton

“The money will be on the table and it will ultimately come down to whether or not Santa Cruz will step up to the plate and come over to Belfast. There are no excuses, so it’s over to him.”

AFTER a turbulent year that included 30 days in jail and threats of suicide on social media, Adrian Broner returned to the ring for the first time in 10 months and chiseled out split decision points win over Adrien Granados in Cinncinati on Saturday night.

Granados threw 210 more punches than Broner, but ‘About Billions’ Broner – who made his ring entrance wearing a balaclava – was much more accurate and landed 166 shots to Granados’ 146.

“I knew that Adrian Granados was going to come tough. At the end of the day, I was beating him up,” said Broner (33-2).

“This was an easy one for me. I feel good.

“Adrian Granados is a world class fighter, a lot of guys duck him but I wanted to fight him because that’s what I’m about. I hurt my left hand in the first round, since then I couldn’t throw my jab as much. That’s why I had to stay inside. I couldn’t use my jab but I adjusted.”

Granados (18-5-2) started well and did not make it easy for his flashy opponent. He invited Broner to Chicago for a rematch and complained that the non-title fight was originally scheduled at a catch-weight of 142 pounds, but ended up at 147, the welterweight limit, at Broner’s insistence.

“I knew it wouldn’t be a pretty fight but I’m so thankful to my team. Broner knows there were lots of games played leading up to this,” Granados said.

“I just want to be treated fairly. I know I don’t have a perfect record, but I can beat anybody. Let’s do it again.

“He fought smart and did his thing. If he thinks he did it this time, let’s do it again. I want it at my house.”

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