Belfast has a proud tradition of producing some of the finest little men in boxing, no more so than in the flyweight division where names such as Rinty Monaghan, Dave McAuley, Hugh Russell and Damaen Kelly have delighted Belfast fight fans down through the years.
Now another Belfast flyweight, Jamie Conlan is intent on following in their footsteps as he makes his King's Hall debut on the undercard to Paul McCloskey's first European title defence at The King's Hall on Friday, June 11th on the Yanjing Beer Fight Night.
Flyweight legends Monaghan and McAuley both defended their World titles at the King's Hall while Russell won the British title at the Balmoral venue and Conlan's trainer John Breen believes his charge has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of Monaghan, McAuley, Russell and Kelly.
The veteran Belfast coach said, “Jamie's only been a pro since last November and I see improvement in him every single day in the gym. He's a great little fighter with a terrific attitude and I think if he gets the opportunity he could be British and Commonwealth champion by the end of the year and I genuinely believe that.
“I watched Shinny Bayaar and Ashley Sexton fight for the British title a few weeks ago and I'd back Jamie against either of them right now. He's only had 2 fights so of course he needs a bit more seasoning but I see him day in, day out in the gym sparring far bigger men like Andy Murray and Kevin O'Hara and I've no doubt he's as good as any of the flyweight's in Britain right now.”
Breen is equally confident that Conlan would have the measure of fellow Belfast man Luke Wilton although he doesn't see the fight happening any time soon. “It would be great to see two Belfast lads taking each other on but I don't think Luke wants the fight unfortunately. I've seen them sparring before and I know there would only be one winner.
“I know Luke's targeting a British title shot himself but I don't think he's ready for that level and anyway he should be proving that he's the best in Belfast first before going for the British title.”
Paul McCloskey's first European Light Welterweight title defence against mandatory challenger Giuseppe Lauri headlines a big night of championship boxing at the King's Hall while in the chief supporting bout Lurgan's Stephen Haughian takes on former British champ, Kevin McIntyre for the Celtic Welterweight title.
Cavan's Andy Murray also features as the undefeated European number 3 looks to take another step close to a European title fight with namesake, John Murray. Rising Belfast star Carl Frampton will get a chance to fight in his hometown for the first time as a pro. The Barry McGuigan managed super bantamweight is unbeaten in his first 5 professional outings and tipped for for big things in the paid ranks.
Another exciting new Belfast talent out to extend his unbeaten record at the King's Hall will be flyweight Jamie Conlan while Cuban sensation Alexei Acosta will also feature as he looks to continue a incredible knockout streak that has seen him stop all 10 of his professional opponents to date. Acosta, a World Junior Champion in the amateur ranks is now based in Cork having turned professional in 2008.
The Yanjing Beer Fight Night will be live on Sky Sports and tickets priced ￡30, ￡60 and ￡90 are available from Ticketmaster and all usual outlets. Contact Ticketmaster 0844 8472455 (0818 719300 from ROI), Box Office 01277 359900, Julie 07745698372, Francie 07803282224.