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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 26 November 2020

Michael Conlan chasing American dream as he signs pro deal with Pacquiao's promoter

Olympic bronze medallist expected to make his debut on Top Rank’s St Patrick’s Day card.

CsvptarWcAE5kIl Conlan: Simply announced "it's done" on Monday night.

MICHAEL CONLAN GAVE the boxing world a one-fingered warning as he signed his first professional deal with American giants Top Rank.

Ireland’s Olympic bronze medallist quit the amateur ranks to join the star-studded stable which includes Manny Pacquiao, Vasyl Lomachenko and Timothy Bradley.

And the Belfast boxer is already being aimed towards a St Patrick’s Day debut in New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.

Conlan was officially unveiled at Top Rank’s Las Vegas headquarters on Monday evening by CEO Bob Arum.

“Amateur hour is over,” Arum wrote as he posed alongside his new signing with their middle fingers raised, imitating Conlan’s protest following his controversial Olympic exit in Rio.

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ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that the deal is a multi-year deal which will see Conlan compete at super-bantamweight and fight at least six times in 2017 — including a home bout in Ireland.

“He will fight the majority of his fights here in the US, building a big fan base in the Irish community,” Top Rank president Todd duBoef told ESPN.

We think he is the next big star in boxing in America.

Conlan, 24, turned professional on the same day that Ireland team-mate and friend Paddy Barnes confirmed that he was going pro with Matthew Macklin’s MGM stable. Macklin, a former middleweight title contender, is also Conlan’s manager.

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Niall Kelly

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