Irishman Michael Conlan is undoubtedly one of 2017's biggest success stories.
After a controversial Olympics, that saw the 25-year-old leave the Rio event without a medal, Conlan's stock is on the rise.
After making his debut at Madison Square Garden on St. Patricks Day with the Notorious Conor McGregor at his side, Conlan now finds himself on the Manny Pacquiao card as he prepares for his third professional fight in Australia on July 2.
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“It’s crazy,” said the Irishman.
“I can’t wait. Manny is still one of my favourite fighters,” he continued.
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“He’s slowed down now from what he was. But he’s still an amazing fighter and somebody I look up to and somebody I could watch all day. He brings excitement, he brings speed, he brings power and he’s just a humble lovely guy and it’ll be great to be around him. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be co-feature to Manny Pacquiao.”
Conlan's second professional fight proved to be somewhat of a damp squib, as he saw off Alfredo Chanez in only three rounds in Chicago on May 26.
"The guy didn’t bring anything. We watched videos of him and we thought he was going to at least come and try but he’d never fought outside of Mexico. I think he’d probably never fought as a main event. It probably just got to him and he shied away,” Michael said.
“He went into complete survival, he was trying all the old tricks, trying to get me disqualified.
“It was good to get that type of experience because I could feel myself starting to get a wee bit frustrated. I had to pull myself back.”
Conlan remains in touch with MMA superstar McGregor, who is looking to make the switch to boxing as he bids to end his bitter feud with boxing great Floyd Mayweather in the ring.
As a world championship gold medalist, Conlan, who is more than ready to help out, could prove to be a useful ally for McGregor as he converts from MMA.
“He asked me would I come down and be a part of his camp. He would like me to be part of his camp for the fight if it happens.
"He didn’t even say if it happens, he said he would like me to be a part of the camp for the fight.
"I’m not saying I’m going to spar him or nothing. He wants me to come down and be part of it and experience it all with me. I think it’ll be a fantastic opportunity to go down and do that,” Michael said.
“I definitely bring something to the table. I’d definitely be able to spot things, if things are wrong, if he’s throwing punches wrong, little things people who aren’t in boxing do naturally.
“There’s a lot of things I’d be able to give him pointers on, or tips on.” But he added, “I’m not going to say I’m going to teach him how to beat Floyd Mayweather!”
A Mayweather-McGregor bout would absolutely be the biggest event, not only in the sport, but on the planet.
Whether or not such a fight ever comes to fruition, is yet to be seen.
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