Victorious Irish Prospect Jamie Conlan cultivating Barry McGuigan’s signature punch

By Brendan Galbraith - Trainer John Breen has no qualms about fast-tracking his talented Belfast Flyweight to title fights and on the McCloskey-Lauri under card against durable veteran opponent, Delroy Spencer – who was making his 115th professional appearance, Conlan put on an impressive boxing display.

Spencer arrived in Belfast on the day of the fight and weighed in at 121 ľ Ilbs (3 Ilbs heavier than Conlan). Conlan was very relaxed and not fazed about getting into the ring with a heavier opponent and told me in the dressing room afterwards:

“No problem. I spar big lads. I spar Andy Murray. So I knew he wouldn’t hurt me in there tonight. I hurt him with a few good body shots – which I am telling you are on going to come on as they are getting better with every fight. I thought I would have stopped him tonight but I was unlucky”.

Indeed, Conlan stopped his last opponent, Bulgarian Itsko Veselinov, with spiteful body shots and has been getting tips from Irish boxing legend, Dave Boy McAuley on how to perfect those body raids.

The left hook to the body is an important weapon for an orthodox fighter, and was famously perfected by Kings Hall legend Barry McGuigan. It is also a shot that is paying dividends for Conlan and from the first bell he was digging it into the body of veteran campaigner Delroy Spencer.

Conlan said:

“I love the left hook to the body – I throw it everyday in sparring. John (Breen) loves it – he says I drop everyone in sparring with it [writers note: Jamie is referring to fighters that he spars with at his own weight]. I also love that right one over the top and I caught Delroy with it every time.”

Indeed Conlan got through with the right hand with regularity, particularly in the second round. The final round was the closest round as Spencer landed a nice eye-catching head combination – perhaps this was the round that was awarded to Spencer in the 39-37 scorecard.

However, Conlan still accumulated more cleaner shots in the fourth and won all four sessions on my card. The trim looking referee, Richie Davies – who looks to have shed a bit of weight, raised Conlan’s hand at the end of the final round.

Conlan’s fight with Spencer was the ‘floater’ bout and unlike Conlan’s last experience as one half of a ‘floater fight’ on the undercard of the Rogan-Sexton II card were he made his debut, defeating Anwar Alfadli, in front of a near capacity Belfast audience, Conlan had to settle for the graveyard shift this time – fighting after the main event. Still, it was an enjoyable experience for Conlan:

“I enjoyed it. I was in control all of the time. He is wily and experienced as I expected, but I think I handled him alright.”

Conlan is looking to keep active and get straight back into the gym to work on his game:

“Every shot we have got to work on – what ever is my worst shot we have got to work on it next. Whatever John says I did wrong – that is what I have got to work on next week”.

Comparisons will continue to be made with Conlan and fellow Belfast flyweight, Luke Wilton. So far Conlan will be encouraged that he has beat two opponents that have a win and draw against Wilton, Spencer Delroy (although Wilton beat Spencer in their first encounter) and Anwar Alfadli, respectively.

Article posted on 14.06.2010

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