The Coronavirus gripping the world at this very moment has virtually brought sport to a standstill. Michael Conlan, the darling of Irish boxing, was set to take part in his annual St Patrick’s Day contest, and although the event had been changed to restrict spectators, the decision was made at the eleventh hour to pull the show altogether. Now speculating on when his next fight takes place, Conlan spoke exclusively to SportPesa regarding the frustration he felt at having the next stage of his career taken away from him.
“Listen, I understand the safety and health side of things, but it’s a hard blow to take,” revealed Conlan when speaking to SportPesa from New York City, the location of his aborted fight. “It appeared at one stage that the fight was going ahead in an empty arena, but as things got worse then the decision was made to pull the entire show. Top Rank had two shows on in the space of a few days and every boxer scheduled to fight was then told that there’d be no boxing on whatsoever.”
With the abandonment of his fight, Conlan’s progression throughout 2020 is now on hold and with the former standout amateur closing in on a lofty ranking, his ascension to the top of boxing’s talent laden featherweight division will have to wait. With Carl Frampton set to challenge Jamal Herring this summer in Belfast, in appears likely that Conlan’s next outing could potentially take place on that date.
“It’s important that we as people do the right thing in stopping the spread of this so things can return back to normal sooner rather than later. I’m a fighter and I just want to get in there and perform to my best and chase the big fights that are out there for me. I had big ideas this year that were going to put me in a great position and it all started with St Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden. This Coronavirus has put boxing on hold for the time being and it’s the same with my career, but once it resumes, I’ll be ready to make my way to the top.”