Michael Conlan could toast St Patrick's Day with world title fight in New York
Michael Conlan could be one step away from a world title shot in Madison Square Garden on St Patrick's night, on the back of his Falls Park victory on Saturday.
Conlan impressively stopped Diego Alberto Ruiz of Argentina in the ninth round and as a result he will move further up the featherweight ladder, having added the WBA inter-continental belt to his WBO inter-continental title.
But, it seems increasingly likely that the Belfast man will shoot for a super-bantamweight world title belt.
Promoter Bob Arum will now sit down with Michael's brother Jamie to work out the next move, one which could well lead to a battle with WBO super-bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarette.
Like Conlan, the 24-year-old Mexican is promoted by Arum's company, Top Rank, which would make a deal for the fight relatively easy to complete.
"We're fortunate that we have a lot of guys at featherweight and super-bantamweight so Michael has options and wherever he feels comfortable we'll go with that," said Arum, who was delighted with Conlan's win on Saturday night.
"Navarette is tough but I think Michael could handle him so we'll see where we go but I'm not going to put him in a world title fight unless I believe he's going to win it.
"I think Mick is making very good progress and this was a signature victory and what an amazing night, it was an incredible atmosphere."
Conlan had been pencilled in to be on the undercard of Tyson Fury in Las Vegas next but having hurt a hand it is now expected he will headline in New York in October.
Coach Adam Booth said: "I would say at this point Michael is top 20 in the world and we want someone now in the top 10 who will ask more questions of him than Ruiz did because he has dealt with that level so easily.
"It's time to take the next step."
Conlan (27) was thrilled with the whole occasion at Falls Park and the body blitz which brought about the finish just topped off a special evening for the Belfast man.
"That was the best night of my sporting career and I want to savour it. I know how good I am and I know where I can be over the next year or so," said Conlan.
"I'm very proud of the whole event, it was a proud night for my whole family and I want to thank my brother Jamie for all the work he put in. To think that two boys from Cavendish Street in Belfast put that show on is amazing."