Jamie Conlan's ready for world title shot
Belfast boxer Jamie Conlan is ready to open a new chapter in his career when he headlines Frank Warren's 'New Beginning' show in Dublin tonight.
A successful defence of the WBO Inter-Continental super-flyweight title against Mexico's Junior Granados will push Conlan closer to a world title shot.
"These are the type of fights that I've always wanted, to help me break into world level," said Conlan.
"Beating Granados will show how far I am along and if I'm ready to take a step up or if I need a few more fights like this."
After leaving long-time trainer John Breen to hook up with Danny Vaughan at the MGM Marbella gym, Conlan has been engaged in a rigid Spanish training camp to prepare him for this big opportunity which will be televised on BoxNation.
"I've had a great camp and been pushed to the limits, doing things I've never done before," added Conlan.
"I was out in Spain for nine weeks flat-out and boxing was the first and only thing you thought about all day.
"It's got me mentally as well as physically prepared and I now know what a proper camp feels like. This is the training that I want, to be away from everyone and just focused on the fight and getting my head down."
At 28, Conlan is now approaching his peak and despite suffering some injury woes and promotional setbacks he has amassed a perfect 13-0 record. Granados turned pro at 17 and is now 13-2-1.
The Mexican is a solid opponent but some suspect losses on his record suggest that Jamie will be a class above.
"I expect a really tough fight but I also expect myself to have the boxing brain to outsmart and outfight him," asserted Conlan.
"He likes to come forward and throw a good left hook to body and head from what I've seen. He's got good head movement and his defence isn't bad either. The main things I have over him are height and weight because he's naturally a flyweight moving up to super-fly. He has won a WBC Hispano title though so he must be doing something right in the ring."
If Conlan manages to get past this latest test his team have set out a blueprint to help guide their man to success with more fights planned before the year's end. Jamie, however, isn't looking at anything beyond getting his work done at the National Stadium.
"My team have given me a guide from now until Christmas and I have to follow it, starting with a good job against Granados," he said. On the undercard Ryan Burnett boxes Csaba Kovacs over eight rounds at bantamweight.