Boxing

Michael Conlan improving all the time says coach Adam Booth

"I’m really proud to work with him," says Michael Conlan coach Adam Booth
Andy Watters

ADAM Booth says Michael Conlan remains a work in progress as he makes the transition from his successful amateur style to an effective set-up for the pro game.

After beginning his professional career based in Los Angeles where he trained with Manny Robles at the Rock Gym, Conlan began working with highly-rated London coach Booth in January.

In the last 10 months the Belfast featherweight has progressed to 10-0 and will appear on the undercard of Carl Frampton versus Josh Warrington in Manchester on December 22.

Ahead of that bill – which includes undercard slots for Paddy Barnes and Steven Ward – Booth says project Conlan is coming along nicely.

“It takes time,” he said.

“We’re working on very, very specific things and now he’s understanding them and believing in them more. He’s ready for a proper step up because he has shown in the gym with the people he’s been sparring with, and he’s shown me under the spotlights, that he can apply a certain style and rhythm to what he’s doing.

“We’re working on it.”

Conlan’s glittering amateur career saw him win an Olympic Games bronze medal and World Championship gold among many other highlights. But adjustments are required for him to replicate that success as a pro and he looked to have moved up a level when he stopped Nicola Cipolletta in Las Vegas last month.

“If I say to Michael: ‘Go out there and box like you’re in the world amateur championships’, he can do that with his eyes closed,” he said.

“He’s got that style engrained in him more than anything.

“It’s a shame the fella (Cipolletta) ran so aggressively, but in running so aggressively it showed that Michael was still smooth and patient in what he did. Imagine if he hadn’t run so aggressively - Michael would’ve found openings a lot quicker.

“So I’m really pleased, I’m really proud to work with him. He’s a fantastic young man to work with, I’ve got a lot of time and respect for Jamie, his brother, and also his dad John. They’re a real boxing family.”

Conrad Cummings and Alfredo Meli II could take place at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on December 7

A REPEAT of the 2015 Irish middleweight title rumble between Conrad Cummings and Alfredo Meli could top the card at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on December 7.

Cummings and Meli battled out a see-saw draw at the Waterfront Hall in the their first meeting three years ago with Coalisland hitter Cummings sending his west Belfast rival down for an early count only to be out-boxed over the middle rounds.

A late rally saw him claim a draw but neither fighter has gone on to achieve the success expected of them since. Carl Frampton stablemate Cummings since suffered losses to Ronnie Mittag and Luke Keeler but has bounced back with two wins on-the-trot while Meli remains unbeaten at 15-0-1 but has only fought four times since the Waterfront draw.

Brain scan issues scuppered a Commonwealth title fight with Sam Sheedy in 2016 and he has boxed just once this year, recording a TKO win over Romeo Paun in March.

Also confirmed on the bill are Tyrone McCullagh, Paddy Gallagher, Lewis Crocker, Gary Cully, Phil Sutcliffe Jr, Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Padraig McCrory and Steve Collins Jr.

Meanwhile, Tommy McCarthy and Luke Wilton return to action on the ‘Back in Belfast’ card at the Shorts Sport and Recreation Club on the Hollywood Road on November 17.

Former Commonwealth title challenger Wilton headlines with cruiserweight McCarthy – who has been quiet since his loss to Matty Askin two years ago – providing support on his comeback fight.

The bill also features Conor Cooke and the professional debuts of teenage Larne super-featherweight Kelvin McDonald and Belfast super-flyweight Cathy McAleer, the first female pro from the North in almost 20 years. Welterweight Tony Nellins and Scottish cruiserweight David Jamieson will also be in action.

Tickets for the night cost £30 (unreserved) and £40 (ringside) and are available from the boxers involved.

Talking tough. Josh Warrington intends to knock Carl Frampton out on December 22.

JOSH Warrington has pledged to knock Carl Frampton out when he meets ‘the Jackal’ in Manchester on December 22.

Perhaps stung by recent criticism of his performance against Lee Selby – Frampton said he should have stopped the weight-drained reigning IBF featherweight champion – Warrington has come out swinging and predicts a stoppage win at the MEN Arena.

“It is going to be high octane with plenty of energy in there with two fantastic styles,” said the Leeds native.

“I think the fight might change patterns in terms of feeling each other out and being edgy, then busy in spells, but I can see nothing else than me taking over from the second half.

“I don’t like making predictions and I see a Josh Warrington win, but I am going to go for a stoppage this time. If I see it I am going to go for it.

“Coming out of the Selby fight, if I was going to criticise myself or kick myself, I wish I had just pressed on. This time around, if I see the opportunity I am just going to go for it.”

Despite being the reigning champion Warrington is ranked as the underdog on December 22. He was also the outsider against Selby and is determined to prove his doubters wrong again.

“In his head he thought he would be fighting Selby in his next fight and he never thought he would be fighting me,” he claimed.

“I think that kind of makes me a bit of a wildcard because nobody expected me to bring that performance - so what am I going to bring against Carl?

“He will still have a few questions. He doesn't know how good I am, no-one does. Obviously it is in my head what I am capable of doing and I think being tested against these boys is when I show what I can do.

“Up until then I was always just going about business and beat who was put in front of me. Now it is to show what I am really capable of.

“In my head I have got nothing to lose because I am still written off. Once again the bookies have got him as favourite and I am the champion.

“He is a massive favourite and that just gives me a greater desire and more fire in the belly.”

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