Michael Conlan takes on Jarret Owen in Australia on Manny Pacquaio undercard
Boxing: Michael Conlan v Jarret Owen (Sunday, Brisbane, 3am approx, live on BoxNation)
THE latest chapter in Michael Conlan's seemingly unstoppable march to world title glory plays out in Brisbane, Australia in the early hours of tomorrow (Sunday) morning when the Belfast featherweight takes on 5-4-3 local boy Jarret Owen.
With two stoppage wins under his belt in the USA, Conlan is the biggest undercard draw on the Suncorp Stadium bill and will rival headline act Manny Pacquaio for attention.
At 38, ‘Pacman' remains dangerous but his glory days are behind him while Conlan is seen as the man to take his place among boxing's global megastars.
Having blown away Tim Ibarra and Alfredo Chanez so far, there's nothing to suggest that Owen will be able to live with him. The Queenslander has been stopped three times in his career and was held to a draw by journeyman Emanuel Micallef in an Australian super-bantamweight title showdown in March.
He can go one of two ways: Come out fighting, try to rough Conlan up and land a decent shot to keep him at distance, or try to box him and stay out of trouble.
Either way, the result will be the same – a Conlan stoppage win – and Owen will do well to take the west Belfast fighter beyond three rounds.
In the main event, Pacquaio tangles with Jeff ‘The Hornet' Horn for the WBO World welterweight title. Horn won the WBO Inter-Continental welterweight strap in December last year to earn his shot at the title but you would still expect a Pacquiao to win comfortably, by decision.
The card also features also features IBF super-flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas defending against Teiru Kinoshita and a middleweight contest between Shane Mosley jnr and David Toussaint.
Meanwhile, Hughie Fury's WBO heavyweight title fight with defending champion Joseph Parker has been confirmed for September 23 at the Manchester Arena.
The younger cousin of Tyson Fury bids to win one of the titles the 28-year-old won in 2015 against Wladimir Klitschko.
He had been scheduled to challenge New Zealander Parker, 25, in Auckland on May 6 until injury forced his withdrawal a fortnight before.
The development also comes while the Furys' hearing with UK-Anti Doping, relating to allegations they tested positively for nandrolone in 2015, is still to take place.
Hughie Fury, 22, last fought when extending his undefeated record against Fred Kassi in April 2016. His preparations for Parker continue next Saturday against an as yet unconfirmed opponent on a Frank Warren bill at London's Copper Box Arena.
“I've waited so long for this chance and my team have worked very hard to get me this fight and I'd like to thank everyone involved," he said.
“I'm going to shock the world and prove all my doubters wrong and what better place to do it than in my home city of Manchester.
“Parker is a good fighter and I've no doubt we'll both bring our A-game on fight night. I can't wait to be crowned world champion."
Fury could yet take a further warm-up fight before September, but Parker will remain the more proven having defeated Andy Ruiz Jnr and Alexander Dimitrenko in two of his past three fights.
“I'm excited that the next defence of my title will be in England because it is now the home of heavyweight boxing and I need to be fighting there regularly," Parker said.
“Fighting away from home holds no fears for me. I will arrive having previously fought on the undercard of a Wladimir Klitschko world title fight in Germany and also twice in America.
“I believe that with so many kiwis and Samoans living in the UK, I may even have more supporters in the crowd on fight night than Hughie Fury.”