Exclusive: Bob Arum talks signing Mick Conlan, sees ‘major star’ potential
Top Rank scored a major coup on Monday when Ireland’s amateur standout Michael Conlan signed on the dotted line of an exclusive promotion deal with the US-based outfit.
The 24 year-old, a pre-tournament favourite at the recent Olympic Games in Rio, was the victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice on the judges’ scorecards which ruined his dream of claiming a gold medal at the quarter-final stage.
Conlan vowed never to fight in a vest again, and just over a month on from the disappointment of Brazil, the World and European champion is ready to embark on a lucrative career in the paid ranks under Arum – something the long-standing promoter is looking forward to.
“Michael is a terrific fighter and a great kid,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News.
“He’s got a great personality and we think we can do big things with him, both here in the United States and on the other side of the pond in England and Ireland.
“I think with his ability and personality we can turn him into a major star.”
Asked his thoughts on what transpired over the summer and Conlan’s reaction to stick a middle finger up to the officials and the AIBA, Arum added:
“I saw what happened at the Olympics and the fact that it was a crazy decision, he didn’t take it shutting up. He stood up for what he believed in and that was exemplary,” he said.
Choosing Top Rank over several offers from all over the world means Conlan joins the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford as a high-end member of Arum’s strong stable.
“The decision to go with Top Rank also raises the youngsters Stateside profile instantaneously and sets Conlan up to be part of some massive events in the coming year.