Michael Conlan targeting Rigondeaux and Lomachenko
By Jeff Aranow: 2-time Irish Olympian Michael Conlan is interested in facing and beating Guillermo Rigondeaux and Vasyl Lomachenko in the near future. The 26-year-old Conlan (4-0, 4 KOs) is fighting in the co-feature bout on the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux card this Saturday night against 29-year-old Argentinian Luis Fernando Molina (7-3-1, 2 KOs) in 6-round fight on ESPN at Madison Square Garden, in New York.
Conlan is with the same promoter as Lomachenko in being signed with Top Rank, so a fight against the Ukrainian is possible in the future. I don’t think it will end well for Conlan though. He’s not that type of talent, and he’s only 3 years younger than Lomachenko Conlan can’t wait out Lomachenko until he gets old before fighting him, because they’re too close to the same age.
Conlan fought in the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, but he was eliminated both times. Conlan did a better job in the 2016 Olympics in losing a close, controversial decision to Vladimir Nikitin of Russia by a 3-0 score. But in the 2012 Olympics, Conlan was totally outclassed by Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez in losing a 20-10 score.
Conlan, 26, is now signed with Top Rank, and the head honcho for that promotional company, Bob Arum, believes he’ll become a world champion in the future.
”One day soon, I expect to be fighting one of them, so I wouldn’t feel star struck about being on the bill or anything like that,” said Conlan about Rigondeaux and Lomachenko via ESPN.com. ”I know it’s not going to be too long before I get to that stage,” said Conlan.
What’s unclear is why Conlan isn’t targeting WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) and WBO 122lb. champion Jessie Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs). Those 2 fighters are world champions already, and they fight in the same weight class as Conlan. More importantly, they’re about the same age as Conlan. Magdaleno, 26, is the exact same age as Conlan, and he was born in the same month as him.
Vargas, 27, is just 1 year older than Conlan. Right now, Vargas and Magdaleno both look like better fighters than Conlan. So, if Conlan is going to skip over them and target Rigondeaux and Lomachenko, he’s going to have some problems, because he’s nowhere near the same level of those 2 fighters.
Conlan’s promoter Bob Arum believes he has the potential to be a great fighter.
”I think he has the potential to be great,” said Arum.
If Arum thinks Conlan is going to be great, then he must believe Jessie Magdaleno and Rey Vargas are going to be great as well, because they’re the same age as Conlan, they’re both looking better than him, and they’re already world champions. Conlan looks like a good fighter, but I don’t think he’s going to be ever be a world beater. He’s good fighter. He’s better than his brother Jamie Conlan, but he hasn’t shown the kind of talent to where you can give him any kind of chance to beat Lomachenko or Rigondeaux. I’d favor Vargas and Magdaleno over Conlan. They’re roughly the same age as him. If Conlan can’t beat those guys now, then there’s no point in him talking about wanting to fight Lomachenko and Rigondeaux.
Conlan looks like he’ll be a good career long contender, and possibly become a belt holder someday, but I don’t see him ever becoming the best fighter in his weight class. Conlan doesn’t possess that kind of talent. He’s too easy to hit, and he’s not looked overly impressive against the weak opposition that Top Rank has fed to him since he turned pro.