Michael Conlan joins us in the studio for episode #111 of Paddy Holohan’s No Shame Podcast. Michael is an Irish Pro boxer (13-0-0), 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist, & former World & European champion.
Ahead of his St.Patrick’s Day fight against Belmar Preciado at MSG, Conlan stopped by to chat about the highs & lows of his career so far.
Following in his brothers foot steps, Conlan took up boxing at just 7 years of age. Mick explains how his small stature made him an easy target for the other kids growing up in Belfast during the 90’s. His father, John, insisted he learn how to defend himself & he joined Clonard Boxing Gym.
Watch Episode #111 of Paddy Holohan's No Shame Podcast
In the immediate aftermath of the Troubles, tensions & emotions were still very raw in Belfast. Conlan explains how boxing helped to bridge the divide between Catholic & Protestant as the bond between fighters proved far stronger than the conflict between communities. It’s something Paddy has also experienced in MMA having took part in a cross border program early on in his career.
The Belfast Boxer reflects on his time as an amateur boxer in what was a golden age for team Ireland. Conlan’s friendship with Paddy Barnes, his Father in his corner, along with the close proximity of the London Olympics made the 2012 games an unforgettable experience which saw him take home a Bronze medal for his country.
In the following four years, Mick would reach the highs of becoming World & European Champ & the lows of Rio 2016, a tournament marred by corruption. Conlan talks about the now infamous fight with Russian Vladimir Nikitin, who was awarded victory over Conlan despite being convincingly out boxed & out fought for three solid rounds.
All officials involved would later be suspended. It was the immediate aftermath of the fight which propelled Conlan to social media stardom, giving an honest & open interview to RTE. Mick would later mention Vladimir Putin in a tongue in cheek tweet ‘How much did you pay them bro?’
Ultimately it was Conlan’s last act in amateur boxing, turning Pro immediately after Rio as he signed with Top Rank Promotions. Michael made his pro debut in MSG against Tim Ibarra on March 17,2017, the first of 4 consecutive St Patrick’s Day bouts. Conor McGregor walked Conlan to the ring & the Belfast native admits the occasion resulted in a rushed performance. However it didn’t stop Mick from securing a 3rd round TKO.
In August 2019, Conlan headlined The falls park in Belfast, a stones throw from his parents house. Conlan tells Paddy of the surreal moment of driving through a park he played in everyday as a kid, hearing the music & the venue as he got nearer, making note of every small detail as he was about to walk out to an adoring home crowd.
Listen to/Download Episode #111 of Paddy Holohan's No Shame Podcast
Conlan has one of the best entrances in boxing as he walks out to the powerful Irish ballad ’Grace’. That night in Belfast was a truly iconic moments in recent Irish sport with the crowd in full voice. Conlan would not be denied, securing a 9th round stoppage.
In Conlan’s last fight he fought Vladimir Nikitin in a grudge rematch at MSG. The Belfast fighter secured the UD win to secure his redemption & finally drawing a line under Rio. Conlan has since launched a clothes brand of the same name ‘REDEMPTION’ off the back of the victory in partnership with sportswear brand BOXRAW.
Also on the Podcast Mick talks of His respect for MMA, why he thinks it should be an Olympic sport, the legacy of the troubles, politics, the future, the dangers of social media & much more.
Off Camera Mick spent 20 minutes giving a talk to a group teenagers downstairs in the gym, a message of self belief & using it to break the cycle. Mick has never forgotten his roots & is using his star to give back. It's a message that people of all ages can follow.
The full episode #111 of Paddy Holohan’s No Shame Podcast is available now across all the usual platforms including Youtube, iTunes & Spotify.