Undefeated super bantamweight prospect Mick Conlan spoke exclusively to WBN about the fight on everybody’s lips – Deaontay Wilder v Tyson Fury.
Fury challenges Wilder for the WBC world heavyweight title this Saturday at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
The latter having overcome drug and alcohol and addiction during a two-year absence.
Conlan, who is deep in preparations for a fight on December 22, aired his views on the imminent battle.
“If the fight goes to points I do believe Tyson will win,” the 27-year-old exclusively told World Boxing News.
“At the start, I thought it could be difficult for Fury. But he seems to have really knuckled down since his last fight. If the Tyson Fury of old can turn up, then he can beat Wilder.
“But, it’s all up in the air. If Wilder can hit him, which is very likely over a 12-round distance, he could put Fury in an awful lot of trouble.
“It’s a fight where I keep changing my mind. If Tyson’s going to win, he’s going to win on points.
“It’s hard to split them. I’ll go with my heart and say that Tyson Fury is going to win it.”
Born in Belfast, Conlan boats a stunning amateur career, winning Commonwealth gold, European Championship silver and gold, World Championship gold and Olympic bronze.
Signed to legendary promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank stable, Conlan believes Fury has prepared correctly. A move which has allowed the former unified champion to shed nearly ten-stone in weight.
“If you look, he’s been over to Los Angeles and he’s done a camp there. So he’s obviously put the dedication in for this one.
“The first comeback fight was all about getting the weight off. The second one was about actually getting rounds and still coming down in weight.
“Now, we have this one, which is probably his first real fight because let’s be honest, the other two were showcases for Tyson to try and get back into shape. Also to get people talking about him again.
“I think he could have had one more fight in-between. But he wanted the Wilder fight, he’s put the hard work and dedication in for this and has sparred some good fighters.
“I’m hoping it is the Tyson Fury of old come Saturday.”
Conlan boasts strong support both at home in Ireland and in New York, headlining a packed Maddison Square Garden, on his professional debut.
However, the 5ft 8in fighter is predicting a surge in popularity for American-born Wilder should he emerge victoriously.
“It’ll put Wilder on the world map if he wins. He’ll be the name on everyone’s lips. Casual boxing fans included.
“Not many of people around the world know Wilde. Most people tend to know Anthony Joshua. A win would really put Deaontay up there in people’s minds.
“We’ve all wanted AJ-Wilder for a long time now. Obviously, Joshua is comfortable where he’s at.
“He sells out stadiums time and time again, why would he want to go to America and earn the same or less as what he earns in Britain?
“But if Wilder wins, he’d have more pulling power in negotiations. Even casual fans will be calling for Joshua-Wilder if he beats Fury.
“They’d be nowhere else to go for Joshua,” he concluded.
James Copley is a Staff Writer for World Boxing News. Follow James on Twitter @JamesCopley73