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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 20 February, 2018
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'I think it’ll be over by the first or second round'

Michael Conlan takes on Mexican journeyman Alfredo Chanez in his second professional fight tonight.

Image: Tom Hogan/INPHO

MICHAEL CONLAN CLAIMS that he expects a battling fight from Mexican journeyman Alfredo Chanez ahead of his second professional encounter tonight — but the Belfast native has predicted an early finish in Chicago.

The pair meet in a six-round featherweight bout that will top the bill at the 9,500-capacity UIC Pavilion in Chicago as Conlan headlines his second US fight card in the space of 10 weeks, live on BoxNation while RTÉ will broadcast delayed coverage tomorrow (Saturday) night.

Having recorded a third-round stoppage over American Tim Ibarra on his St Patrick’s Day debut in New York, the Belfast native is now looking to blow Chanez away in the Windy City.

“Of course, that’s my aim. I’ll go in there and I think it’ll be over by the first or second round,” said Conlan, who believes an early knockout will help further boost his growing profile Stateside.

You need to get the casual fans involved and I feel like I’ll go in there and do the job. I’ve felt good in camp and I feel there’s a lot less pressure on this one, so I’m just looking forward to getting in there,” added the Irishman, who attracted an unprecedented level of attention for a professional debutant ahead of his first paid bout two months ago.

Promoters Top Rank have given the 25-year-old significant backing in the US — booking another headline slot in a traditionally strong Irish-American marketplace — while journeyman Chavez, who carries a modest 4-4 record, is not expected to pose any problems as Conlan continues to adapt to the pro game.

However, the two-time Olympian hopes his opponent will exhibit a typical Mexican-style eagerness to fight as Conlan expects an all-action bout no matter how long it lasts.

I think he’s going to come to fight. I thought the other guy [Ibarra] would’ve given it more of a go, but he didn’t. Hopefully this guy does and I think he will,” said the world amateur champion.

“I’ve been working with Mexican fighters in the gym and I know how they operate and I know the little tricks and stuff, so it’s something I’m looking forward to — getting in there and putting a show on,” continued Conlan, who trains alongside the likes of Mexico’s WBO world featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in LA.

“I’ve watched a few rounds of him [Chanez] on YouTube and he comes forward and he’s always trying to attack.

He seems dirty enough, too, so I’ve just got to be careful and I can’t rush my work. I’ve just got to take my time and I know I’ll get him out there,” added the 25-year-old, who is set to be back in the ring on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s world welterweight title defence in Brisbane in July should all go to plan in Chicago tonight.

Meanwhile, Athy featherweight Eric Donovan is keen to get some rounds in the bank against Hungarian Laszlo Horvath in their headline bout at the National Stadium tomorrow night.

Journeyman Horvath (4-5) was drafted in as an opponent for the undefeated Donovan (3-0) after Spaniard Juan Luis Gonzalez was forced to withdraw from the bout.

I just want to get some rounds in this time, try to get in some defensive work and some movement,” said Donovan ahead of his fourth pro bout. “Then if I can take him out, I will.

“But it’s an eight-round fight and it would be nice to get three or four rounds under my belt,” added the former European amateur medallist and RTÉ pundit, who tops a busy 17-fight card in Dublin.

TV: Conlan v Chanez – BoxNation (live, 2am); RTÉ2 (delayed, Saturday, 7.25pm).

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About the author:

Ciarán Gallagher

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