Boxing

Michael Conlan dancing to his own tune ahead of Diego Alberto Ruiz showdown at Falls Park

Michael Conlan works out at Belfast's City Hall ahead of his big fight on Saturday night in the Falls Park Picture: Hugh Russell.
From Brendan Crossan at Belfast's City Hall

AT the start of yesterday’s sunny public work-out in the resplendent grounds of Belfast’s city hall, Michael Conlan tried to shadow box to the beat of the ‘House’ music that accompanied his ring arrival.

But, like most things in this world, Conlan was just too damn fast for the music.

With feet like Astaire and hands that soon morphed into a jaw-dropping blizzard, the west Belfast featherweight danced to his own beat in front of several hundred boxing fans, well wishers, office workers, city-centre shoppers and those who were simply there enjoying the afternoon rays and the welcome hullabaloo.

Wearing a beaming smile throughout and sporting a green T-shirt with the words ‘The Conlan Revolution’ emblazoned across the front of it, the talented 27-year-old was putting the finishing touches to his preparations for Saturday night's WBO/WBA Inter-Continental Featherweight showdown with Argentina's Diego Alberto Ruiz at the 10,000-strong Falls Park as part of Feile an Phobail.

The charismatic boxer is hoping to make it a cool dozen wins in a row in a blemish-free professional record that will propel him closer to his world title dream.

Belfast’s Lord Mayor John Finucane, who wears the civic chains of office lightly, was on hand to greet Conlan at the big house as he made his way to the public ring yesterday.

Describing Ruiz as “a very tough opponent”, Conlan is expected to perform in front of a capacity crowd on Saturday evening with the last few tickets expected to be hoovered up on Ticketmaster and other outlets over the coming days.

Judging by yesterday, the music and Ruiz might have a job keeping up with Michael Conlan when the first bell tolls in the 'West' on Saturday night.

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