Personality, you either got it or you don't.
It is hard to manufacture it. If you try too hard, you come off as corny.
Real knows real, and here's what I know…this sport needs personalities, and people with “it,” with a dynamism and allure and that something special that makes masses want to watch them.
Floyd Mayweather has “it” in some minds, and I'd say his buy rates indicate that he does have personality…but beyond that, go through the weight divisions, and you will not find that many folks with “it.”
Adrien Broner, the old version, pre seeing the light Broner, he had or has it. And yes, his ratings reflect that; people are curious to see what he does next, what he says next, want to see him get shut up.
Mick Conlan, the middle finger man, the guy who Tweeted an overhand right at stone cold killer Vladimir Putin, he has it. Bless him…we need his kind and more. The sport flourishes when personalities and athleticism come together. MMA had a heckuva run when Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor, both owners of personality with a capital P, came to the fore. Our sport can do the same, in theory. Folks like Conlan, debuting as a pro tomorrow, Friday, at the MSG Theater, can help lift us up. The joint will be packed to the rafters, and beer could be scarce with all the thirsty rooters in the joint. Great for the sport! And great for promoter Top Rank, which recognizes what I'm saying. Hello, their boss? Bob Arum…capital P personality. Top Rank has booked Conlan for the next five St. Patrick's Days in the Theater! They get it…and I hope more of the athletes get it. Safety first, boring ass personas won't conjure excitement. Skills pays bills, gentlemanliness is great for church…but this is the fight business. Fight hard and well and have something to say, a willingness to stir the pot, and watch your popularity uptick. Welcome, Mick Conlan!
NEW YORK (March 16, 2017) — It is T-Minus ONE DAY and counting until Ireland's Olympic hero MICHAEL “MICK” CONLAN celebrates St. Patrick's Day by making his professional debut — headlining a special card at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Conlan's pro debut, which will be as a featherweight, in a six-round bout against Tim Ibarra (4-4, 1 KO), of Denver, is set for the evening of Friday, March 17, at the “O'Mecca of Boxing.” And to put an exclamation point on the occasion, fellow countryman and UFC superstar and lightweight champion Conor McGregor has accepted Conlan's invitation to walk him into the ring!
The main event bouts will be televised in the U.S. on UniMás and Univision Deportes, beginning at 11 p.m. ET / PT; live to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland via Box Nation and live to Brasil via SporTV. Ireland will also have access to a primetime delay via RTE.
“My goal is to be the best Irish fighter of all time. Tim [Ibarra] and I both have to put bread on the table and we'll be working hard to do that Friday night. I am going to have to knock him out. Over 2,000 fans are flying in from Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and my pro debut. I never dreamed this would be happening to me, that it was even possible — headlining in my pro debut at the Mecca of Boxing. I am taking this whole experience in. I revel in it. It's going to be electric when Conor McGregor carry's the tricolor [flag] and walks me into the ring.”
“St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland and last summer, Mick Conlan drove the snakes out of AIBA and the Olympics. He stood up for himself at the Olympics and the world stood up with him when he cheated out of his dream. He's a phenomenon. We are going to build his career to monster proportions. We have reserved The Garden for the next five St. Patrick's Days for Mick. The St Patrick's Day parade starts here.”
“The Irish and UK media are treating this fight like a world championship event. He's on every front page.”
“This will not be an easy fight for Conlan. I'm going to teach him that there is a big difference between amateurs and professionals. I'm going to rain on his St. Patrick's Day parade.”
Conlan joins an elite group of fellow Olympic medalists, including George Foreman, Evander Holyfield and Jermaine Taylor, to make his professional debut on boxing's most hallowed ground. But Conlan is the only one to make his debut as the main event. Over 500 fans from Ireland have purchased tickets and are expected to be in attendance, rooting on the man who drove the snakes out of the Olympics last summer.
The card will also feature junior lightweight ROBSON CONCEICAO (2-0, 1 KO), the first Brazilian boxer to win Olympic gold (2016), and undefeated welterweight contender ALEX SAUCEDO (23-0, 14 KOs) of Oklahoma City, in separate bouts.
* CONLAN TO AMERICA FIGHT WEEK MEDIA SCHEDULE *
(All Times are Eastern Daylight Time)
FRIDAY, MARCH 17
The Theater at Madison Square Garden
- 6:45 p.m. Doors Open
- 7:00 p.m. First Fight