On Saturday night, ESPN presents by far the biggest fight card their network has seen in years, as Manny Pacquiao headlines against Jeff Horn.
With this high-profile fight in the main event, Top Rank is using the card as an opportunity to spotlight one of their main upcoming talents - Ireland’s Michael Conlan. Conlan is in his 3rd fight as a professional here, going 2-0 just in 2017 so far. He takes on Australia’s Jarrett Owen, a 5-4-3 fighter who is here to provide a pretty safe win for Conlan.
Before Saturday night, get caught up on Conlan with footage of his previous two fights. Up first is his debut against Tim Ibarra (4-4) at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in March. He followed that up by taking on Alfredo Chanez (4-4) in Chicago in May. This will be his first nationally televised fight.
Check out Conlan’s two fights in a video above, or here on YouTube.
Conlan first gained fame through an impressive amateur career. He represented Ireland in the 2012 Olympics, taking Bronze. He followed that up with wins in both European and World championships. In 2016, he again competed at the Olympics, losing in a highly controversial call (video of that fight is also above). An angry Conlan gave the judges the middle finger at the Olympics, publicly accusing them of corruption. For his March debut fight, he was accompanied to the ring by Conor McGregor, drawing the attention of many MMA fans.
Conlan is a solid prospect with good amaetur credentials, but many strong amateurs have struggled with the step to the pros. He’s getting a big push right off the bat - it remains to be seen if that will help him or hurt him, and we’re unlikely to get any further answer to that on Saturday, but it will be a good opportunity to see Conlan exposed to a wider audience.
Bloody Elbow will have live fight night coverage of Pacquiao vs. Horn featuring Michael Conlan vs. Jarrett Owen live on ESPN, this Saturday night July 2 starting at 9:00 p.m. ET.