Boxing

Fans will get a "real fight" says Michael Conlan ahead of homecoming rumble

Michael Conlan beat Spaniard Ibon Larrinaga in New York in May

MICHAEL Conlan promises boxing fans a “real fight” when he meets former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos in his first professional outing on home soil.

Conlan faces the “acid test” of his career so far when he takes on the Brazilian at the Odyssey Arena on June 30 as the headline act of a stacked, well-matched undercard with the highlights including Paddy Gallagher versus Gary Corcoran, Tyrone McKenna versus Jack Catterall, Tyrone McCullough versus Joe Ham and Jono Carroll's IBF Inter-Continental Super Featherweight rumble with Declan Geraghty.

“I think the atmosphere will be special,” predicted Conlan.

“People in Belfast understand boxing and they understand when a fight is a real fight.

“They'll be up for it and I'm so grateful to be bringing back a night like this for the people who have supported me and travelled to watch me. There'll be fans there on the night who probably don't support me now, but hopefully they will after it.”

It's up to Dos Santos to create an upset and the Brazilian (19-4) has the experience of a world title rumble with Jessie Magdaleno, Conlan Rock Gym stablemate during his stint in LA.

“He has boxed for a world title, he has fought Kid Galahad and he has a fair amount of knockouts on his record,” said Conlan.

“It is definitely a step up in class and there is always danger when you go into the unknown. There's not loads of footage on the guy so I don't know what I'm dealing with at times.

“But I'm just confident in myself and my own ability and I'm not really worried about what Dos Santos brings. I've put in the hard work in this training camp – I've basically been in training camp for a full year and working with Adam. I'm happy and confident in myself and that's the key.”

Conlan has been in high profile fights since he made his pro debut as top of the bill in New York's Madison Square Garden. He says they have prepared him for June 30.

“I'm not even thinking that this is my homecoming, or this is my first fight in Belfast or how big of a night it is,” he said.

“I'm just treating it as another fight. I know it's different with the atmosphere but my debut and all my fights so far have been building me for this moment. I go over everything in my head and I picture it in my head and I know it's going to be a very successful evening.”

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