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Michael Conlan to 'step up' for Pacquiao undercard after win

By David Kelly

Michael Conlan is putting the frustration of a less than satisfying victory behind him and focusing on the chance to see his name up in lights alongside the great Manny Pacquiao on July 2, in Brisbane, Australia.

Conlan notched his second win since turning professional with American promotional company Top Rank, in the early hours of Saturday morning, when he stopped Mexican journeyman Alfredo Chanez at the end of the third round in the UIC Pavilion, Chicago.

A swift right uppercut midway through the first round sent the Mexican to the canvas and the Belfast man then unloaded a fine variety of blows as Chanez did his best to survive. Chanez soaked up some sharp right hands in the second before being caught with a low blow which he made the most of, rolling on the canvas as the referee gave him time to draw breath. A short right hand to the body brought the end at 2:59 in the third as once more Chanez hit the floor.

"I didn't enjoy that at all. These guys just want to survive, that's part of the business when you're coming up and facing journeymen but it was very frustrating. Throughout my amateur career I was facing the best in Europe and the World so it almost felt like I was going backwards, but it's done and now I focus on the next one," said Conlan, who is expected to face 31-year-old Australian Jarrett Owen.

"To be fighting on the same bill as Manny Pacquiao is an honour. He has been one of the best boxers of his generation and one of the greatest of all-time, so it's just amazing to know I'm going to be sharing the spotlight with him.

"It's another really high profile fight for me, and our promoter Bob Arum has told me that I will be the co-feature.

"It just shows you the faith that Bob and everyone at Top Rank have in me.

"It's going to be an opportunity for me to show a worldwide audience my true potential against an opponent who's going to come and have a go.

"I told Bob afterwards that I wasn't happy with the level of the opponent and that I want to step it up.

"I know it's part of the learning process but with the world class sparring I'm getting in the gym, I know that I'm ready to be moved on pretty quickly.

"I think I showed in this fight with Chanez that I was going about my work more patiently, more like a professional and picking my shots ­- it was just annoying that he was complaining about everything and just looking to survive once he felt my shots."

• KELL Brook must weigh up whether or not he has a future in boxing after suffering a broken eye socket in his 11th round stoppage defeat at the hands of American Errol Spence Jr. who produced a fine performance on Saturday night to wrench away the Sheffield man's IBF World welterweight title before a packed crowd at Bramall Lane, home to Sheffield United. Brook suffered the same injury to his right eye during his loss to World middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin in September.

"I had a CT scan on my eye and the eye is broken again, same as the Golovkin one. I remember the surgeon saying to me after the Golovkin fight, 'if you would have gone another round or so you could be blind' - so I've got that going through my mind," said Brook (left), was down in the 10th before taking a knee in the 11th when he simply couldn't see out of his left eye.

Belfast Telegraph


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