WBO Inter-Continental Super-fly king Jamie Conlan knows a sizzling performance this weekend will propel him into the big profile showdowns.
This Saturday the unbeaten 29-year-old from Belfast returns to Dublin’s National Stadium, scene of his epic potential Fight of the Year win over Mexican warrior Junior Granados in July, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
Whilst looking to sharpen his tools in an eight rounder with Argentina’s Adrian Dimas Garzon, you sense Ellesmere Port’s former IBF bantam boss Paul Butler – now back at 115lbs – won’t be very far from Conlan’s thoughts.
‘The Butler fight is logical for both of us because there’s not too many quality little guys around. We’re both trying to push on to bigger things, both believe we can beat the other so hopefully it’ll materialise early next year,’ says ‘The Mexican’ who has won 14 straight with eight stoppages since joining the profession in 2009.
‘I’m really excited by the rivalry that’s building and I’d happily go to the mainland to challenge Paul, especially if he was defending a decent belt. A ring’s a ring. That’d really put fire in my belly.
‘Butler’s a really good fighter and he’ll still be a good fighter after I’ve beat him! But I see weaknesses in him and not just when he got stopped in his world title fight.
‘(South Africa’s ex IBF boss Zolani) Tete was simply a level above. It’s in the fights that Butler has won that I noticed he repeatedly gets caught with the same shots. There’s a lot of openings I’ve always believed I could exploit. I possess everything required to defeat him.’
The 5ft 7in crowd pleaser – older brother of recently crowned world amateur champion Michael Conlon – is also keen to hoover up the British 8st 3lb crown.
‘Us little guys need each other to build rivalries that’ll benefit us all, both in terms of profile and financially. My brother beat Kal at the Europeans and they’ve sparred a lot at GB camps. Michael tells me Kal believes he’s a lot stronger than he actually is, and that will prove his downfall. I proved against Granados that nobody can break my heart!’ says Spanish-based Jamie who is coached by Danny Vaughan at the MGM Gym in Marbella.
Already listed sixth by the WBO (whose European belt he has also held), the fast rising Ulsterman is honing on world class a little too quickly and concedes that at his present stage of development, the sanctioning bodies global champion, Japan’s brutal Naoya Inoue, might prove a bridge too far.
‘I think I probably need a bit more international experience before challenging him,’ he admits.
‘Inoue and (WBC flyweight champion) Roman Gonzalez have certainly put the little men back on the map and they’re heading for superstardom. Gonzalez probably beats Naoya if they meet but he’s still fantastic; very heavy handed.
‘But from what I hear, it’s likely he’ll be moving up very soon. It would be brilliant if me and Butler can manoeuvre ourselves to fight for the title if and when Inuoe vacates.’
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