Mean and hungry Jamie Conlan eyeing a double celebration
Jamie Conlan believes it is going to be "a special night" for Belfast boxing when he and James Tennyson bid for Commonwealth and British titles respectively at London's Copper Box Arena.
Tomorrow evening Conlan will bid to put himself in line for a showdown with British rival Paul Butler, a fight that could be an eliminator for a shot at the WBO World super-flyweight title. First he must deal with the threat of Anthony Nelson in their Commonwealth title clash, while Tennyson challenges Ryan Walsh for the British featherweight belt.
Conlan, brother of World amateur champion Michael, expects to be tested right from the opening bell.
"I'm prepared for Nelson to come right at me and really put the pressure on. He thinks I can't handle his intensity," said Conlan.
"If he comes to close me down from the start I'll be ready for him. I know that I can handle a high workrate and I am better in every department.
"It could be an exciting fight but I know that at the end I'll be coming away with the Commonwealth title. He likes to throw plenty of shots but that also means that he leaves gaps in his defence, opportunities for me to land.
"I just have to stick to the game-plan and I will be champion. I know there's a lot of talk about the Butler fight but I have to just focus on getting the job done."
While Conlan has lifted the WBO inter-continental title and is ranked in the top 10, winning the Commonwealth title will mean much more to him.
He added: "The British and Commonwealth titles have never lost their prestige. Every professional fighter wants to win them and I'm no different. To win the Commonwealth belt would mean so much to me.
"And I really think it can be a big night for Belfast boxing as a whole because James Tennyson has a great chance against Ryan Walsh. I saw the two of them up close and Tennyson is much bigger so I think he has a great chance and we could well be celebrating two new champions on Saturday night.
"If that's the case then I don't see why we can't have big time boxing in Belfast on a more regular basis."
Meanwhile, fellow Belfast man Fredo Meli has a Commonwealth middleweight title eliminator against Sam Sheedy in Sheffield tomorrow night.