The little men have always been big news in Irish boxing and tomorrow night Jamie Conlan will seek to take another step along the path to a British title shot.
From Rinty Monaghan through to Dave McAuley and Wayne McCullough, we have always had flyweights and bantams of the highest class and Conlan wants to have his name placed alongside such legends of the ring.
That may be along way off for the Belfast flyweight but under the guidance of manager and coach John Breen, there is no doubt that Conlan is making rapid progress.
Belfast fans will have a good chance to judge for themselves just how good Conlan is as the 24-year-old will have two fights in the space of 12 days, starting tomorrow night at the Ulster Hall when he faces Georgian Levan Garibashvili before returning to the ring on December 15 at the King’s Hall when he will face fellow unbeaten fighter Lewis Browning of Exeter.
Despite having had just four fights, Conlan is adamant that the work he has engaged in at Breen’s Gym would enable to step up to 10 and 12 rounders very quickly.
“In the gym I’ve sparred with featherweights, lightweights, guys a lot heavier and I’ve handled them. It means when I get in with flyweights I almost feel sorry for them because I’m bullying them in the ring,” said Conlan.
“I’ve developed a lot since I turned pro. To be honest I had to learn how to punch properly, to punch the way you have to do as a pro ... the amateur game is so different now, they’re two different sports.
“I feel that I’m learning a lot with every fight, John believes I’m ready for a title fight right now whether that’s a Celtic, Irish or a British title fight.
“I believe that I can be British champion and move on from there. I’ve watched them all including Shinny Bayaar the British champion and they’re good but I know I can beat them, 100 per cent.”
Mention of the Irish title brings up the name of fellow Belfast flyweight Luke Wilton and Conlan says “it is a natural fight, a fight for the Belfast public.”
While it had been suggested that Wilton had turned down the chance to fight Conlan, Luke’s dad and coach Alan said: “We have never been given a clear offer for the fight with Conlan. We would take the fight, no problem, as long as the money is right but we’re waiting to be made an offer.”
Conlan’s coach John Breen added: “A fight with Jamie and Luke would be great, we’re up for it but Jamie is moving very quickly and after another two wins he could well be in for the British title.”