Event: Boxing, flyweight (52kg)
Who is he? A 21-year-old from Belfast with bags of ability and a bright future. Coming from a family with a strong boxing tradition, Conlan followed his older brothers down to St John Bosco BC at the age of seven; by 11, he had already won his first Ulster novice title.
Now he’s the two-time national flyweight champion after he successfully defended his title against Chris Phelan in March. With London just around the corner, he’s proved that he can handle himself on the international stage by reaching the quarter-finals of last year’s World Championships in Baku.
A confident, charismatic talent.
Road to London: Conlan made sure of his place in the London ring with a brilliant performance at the 2011 World Championships. He stunned the second seed Nordine Oubali in the last 16 to guarantee qualification before agonizingly losing out by a point to Olympic fancy Andrew Selby in the quarter-finals.
What he says about himself: “I know that when I’m right — and I know I’m going to be right for the Games — it doesn’t matter who is in my weight. Muhammad Ali could be in my weight, it doesn’t bother me.” (Irish Independent, May 2012)
Medal chances? A genuine challenger in the flyweight division. He’s only 12th in the latest AIBA rankings but anybody who beats Oubali and then comes within a point of Selby — who is now the division’s number two — deserves serious respect. Jimmy knows his boxing and Jimmy says a three at minimum…
If you meet him in a bar, ask him about… sparring sessions with his older brother Jamie, 25, who is a promising professional boxer himself.
On the Twitter: You’ll find him @mickconlan11. Good value for a laugh, particularly when he’s quoting bits from Saturday Night Live sketches.
If he was a YouTube video, he’d be… the “Monster? I’m gonna kick his ass” kid. Except for Conlan, you can replace the word “monster” with the name of pretty much any boxer in the world.
YouTube credit: mebobbob