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INPHO/Dan Sheridan Conlan: ready to go when the right offer comes.
# Pro Evolution
Michael Conlan likely to go pro if he wins world championship gold
London bronze medallist says he’s ready to turn professional when the right offer comes in.

MICHAEL CONLAN COULD turn professional before the end of the year — if he wins a gold medal at the World Championships.

Conlan is fired up for a world title, and hopefully a win against old foe Andrew Selby, in Kazakhstan in October.

The Belfast flyweight was one of the stars of the Irish Olympic team when he won bronze in London last summer and has not ruled out a repeat bid in Rio in 2016.

He has already said that he would turn pro if he won medals at the worlds and at next year’s Commonwealth Games, where he wants to avenge a disappointing defeat in 2010.

But the 21-year-old admits that his big move could come even sooner than that.

“If I won gold at the worlds more than likely I’d be gone because the right offer would be there.

“There would no point in waiting around because other offers in a year would fade.

“The Commonwealth Games isn’t a big thing but it’s a medal I want to get because I went in 2010, I was only 17, and I lost on on a countback. It’s a medal I always wanted to get because I lost in 2010.

If the right offer was there after the world championships, I’d be gone in fairness. It’s only a medal.

image Conlan will be an athlete mentor as part of Sky Sports’ ‘Living for Sport’ campaign (INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

Another boxer who could soon turn pro is Conlan’s Olympic team-mate John Joe Nevin, who sparked speculation about his amateur future when he did not show for Ireland training camp in Castlebar last week.

Nevin nearly made the switch last year after winning silver in London but a deal agreed with Amir Khan’s promotion company fell through.

“He wasn’t at the camp but I wouldn’t be surprised either if he turned up for the World Championships,” Conlan said.

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“Maybe he will, maybe he won’t.

“The rest of the team this year will probably come away with a few medals too from the World Championships. John Joe will be a bit of a loss but we still have a strong enough team to go on and win.

Without John Joe you don’t hear his music playing all the time and him singing away! I’m happy for him and whatever he decides to do. He deserves whatever comes to him.

If Irish boxing does lose one of its top amateurs, Conlan hopes that it will be a wake-up call for the IABA who are often criticised for not capitalising on its talent.

“There’s always a level of frustration with stuff like that. With the IABA and the High Performance things can be a bit mixed up.

“They try to do their best but they could be a lot better. It’s a work in progress.

“Hopefully they pick it up now when they see John Joe is jumping out of frustration.”

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