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Conlan – Ruiz LIVE on ESPN+ – Media Workout Quotes and Photos

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Michael “Mick” Conlan emerged from Belfast City Hall and walked up the steps of the makeshift ring set up outside in Donegall Square. In the center of the city, Conlan, the fighting pride of Belfast, took center stage.

Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs), one of the greatest amateur boxers to come out of the Irish system, will fight Diego Alberto Ruiz (21-2, 10 KOs) Saturday evening at Falls Park as part of the city’s annual Féile an Phobail summer festival.

Conlan has fought in Belfast once before as a pro, but this event is expected to draw roughly 10,000 of his most rabid supporters. Wednesday’s media workout was a celebration of Conlan’s Belfast roots, as the city’s Lord Mayor, John Finucane, stopped by to say a few words.

Ranked in the top 10 by two of the major sanctioning organizations, Conlan has a world title shot on his mind. In Ruiz, he is facing the toughest test of his career, a bruiser from Argentina who has won 10 straight dating back to June 2016.

After working out, this is what Conlan had to say.

Michael Conlan

“Fighting at Falls Park is really a dream come true. Féile an Phobail is now in its 31st year. I remember going to the festival for many years when I was a kid. The atmosphere has always been very celebratory for the Irish people, and fighting there on August 3 will be very special. I have so many friends and family who live very close to Falls Park. When I was younger, we lived very close, and it was like a second home for my friends and I.”

“I’m really excited. {Ruiz} is very, very good. He’s a tough guy, and if I want to be world champion, I need to beat this guy. I think you’ll see the best Michael Conlan yet come Saturday.”

The Conlan Revolution Returns Home

Michael Conlan-Diego Alberto Ruiz to Stream LIVE on ESPN+ beginning at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT

The show had to go on. After Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin bowed out due to injury, Michael “Mick” Conlan found a new opponent for his Belfast homecoming in Diego Alberto Ruiz (21-2, 10 KOs).

The veteran from Argentina will look to upset Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs) in front of roughly 10,000 fans Saturday at Falls Park as part of the Féile an Phobail summer festival.

Conlan grew up a stone’s throw from the park, and his fight will be one of the festival’s major events.

Conlan-Ruiz and Luis Arias-Luke Keeler will stream live on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, starting at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. The undercard stream will begin at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT and stream only on ESPN+.

As fight week kicks off, this is what Conlan, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, had to say.

On Nikitin dropping out and what Ruiz brings to the table

“Having Diego Alberto Ruiz step in for Vladimir Nikitin didn’t really change how I approach the fight. I suspect Ruiz will come forward but maybe not as aggressively as Nikitin was going to.”

“For me, I wanted the toughest fighter we could get after Nikitin fell out, and that’s what I told Top Rank and MTK Global. Every fight to me is important, but I wanted to make sure the August 3 fight in West Belfast was going to entertain the huge crowd.”

On training with Adam Booth

“Adam and I work on so much every camp. I know I’m much better just since St. Patrick’s Day {when he defeated Ruben Garcia Hernandez at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden}. While we focus on every opponent and how to beat them, we’re truly working on getting better each camp and every day, so that when the time comes to fight for a world title, I’ll be ready.”

On the future

“I’m a humble person. There’s a lot of chatter coming from different fighters, some who are in a similar place as me in their careers and it’s getting a bit much, especially on social media. I prefer to let my performances speak for themselves.”

“I plan to fight again on St. Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden next year. It’s my favorite arena, and I love the atmosphere inside the arena and in New York City during fight week.”

“I could see a title fight against {IBF featherweight world champion} Josh Warrington coming to fruition within 12 months. It would be big anywhere in the UK or Ireland, but I’d love to have my first world championship fight at Madison Square Garden.”

ESPN+, 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT

Michael Conlan vs. Diego Alberto Ruiz, 10 rounds, Conlan’s WBO Intercontinental and vacant WBA Intercontinental featherweight titles

Chris Jenkins vs. Paddy Gallagher, 12 rounds, Jenkins’ British and vacant Commonwealth welterweight titles

ESPN+, 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. ET

Luke Keeler vs. Luis Arias, 10 rounds, middleweight
Padraig McCrory vs. Steve Collins Jr., 8 rounds, super middleweight
Paddy Barnes vs. Joel Sanchez, 6 rounds, flyweight

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