In response to Kevin Iole’s comments implying that Conlan is being hyped:
Kavanagh says Conlan has the skills to succeed:
I know Michael a little bit personally and he’s got the ‘x’ factor. Smart, thinks fast, witty, dresses sharp even down to how he cornered Conor into agreeing to walk him out for his debut…..brilliant. Not only winner of countless boxing titles but also winner of Ireland’s sports personality of the year. This is not someone sitting around waiting for outside influences to ‘push’ him….he’s out there every day doing the damn pushing! He’s actively making himself the ‘money fight’, not moaning at promoters about wanting the ‘money fight’. Combat sports like boxing and mma need more like him.
Jack O’Toole of The Independent says McGregor stole Conlan’s spotlight.
McGregor has forged his star on seizing the moment, whether that be dispatching former Featherweight champion Jose Aldo within 13 seconds, or sending Twitter into a frenzy with his ‘thanks for the cheese’ retirement tweet last year, McGregor has always demonstrated an ability to capitalise on his surroundings. However, on Friday in New York, he pushed his own brand at the expense of Michael Conlan’s, as the only time the Crumlin native was out of the spotlight was seemingly between bells, when Conlan, Tim Ibarra and referee Benjy Esteves where the only three people permitted to be inside the ring. But even during the fight McGregor was the centre of attention, as he was forced to move from Conlan’s corner to the opposite side of the ring where he was given a folding chair to sit on by arena security, which was akin to giving a child sunscreen in Spain, you can try, but naturally, they’re going to be reluctant at your proposals, even if it’s the best thing for them…[McGregor’s] shadow looms large, Conlan, and the press certainly know that, but if you open the door to the wolf, don’t be surprised when he works his way right into the hen house.
McGregor talks about the Conlan fight:
Clean work. As he goes on he’ll get more comfortable under that pressure. It’s a different bubble in there, when you feel that kind of intensity. It was beautiful. Once he got loose, got the stoppage. Very, very happy with it. I wish him all the success in the future. We know the skills he has. Everybody knows how talented he is. He came through his first test. He’ll only grow and rise from it.
And hints that the Mayweather fight, which he says is close to signing, will not be in June:
F-ck Floyd. This whole boxing world don’t know what they’re gonna see when I roll in here. I’m unpredictable. Nobody knows what they’re in for. Everyone’s writing me off. There’s gonna be a shock. I’m ready. I’m looking forward. I’m excited. We’re very close to inking it. [Interviewer: For June?] No, well listen. I’m not gonna say no more. We’re very close, that’s it.
McGregor congratulates Conlan after his third-round victory over Tim Ibarra. When asked if he will be seen in a boxing ring soon:
100%, we are very close…yeah we’re working on it but tonight is about Michael Conlan.
McGregor walks out for Conlan’s professional debut in New York’s Madison Square Garden. As they walk out, McGregor says:
Stay calm in the chaos. Controlled in the chaos. Relax. Let it come to you. This is your night.
McGregor gives some words of advice to Conlan before his professional debut at Madison Square Garden.
It’s your night. There’s a lot of people out there, great energy. Stay calm in it. Feed off of it but don’t overfeed off of it. You know this. You’ve been doing this a long fucking time. Go out and enjoy yourself out there.
In an interview Conlan talks about his upcoming fight in New York, and McGregor.
Irish fans are the best fans in the world. I’m getting 200 people coming from Ireland, more maybe. That’s just a rough estimate. I’m very, very grateful and honored to have them out here…I’ve known Conor since 2015. Ireland’s a small country: there’s eight million people in New York, and four million in Ireland so it’s a small place and we stick together…We talked and we started to grow our friendship. After the Diaz loss he got me to get him sparring partners for him…Our relationship has grown and grown…It’s an honour for me to have him [carry the tricolour for me], and an honour for him, having the hopes of the nation on both our shoulders…I would love to [carry the tricolour for him when he fights Mayweather]…Floyd’s the greatest fighter that there’s ever been. So it’s almost an impossible task for Conor. But anything can happen in boxing.
Despite Mayweather saying that he wants to fight McGregor in June, Conlan says McGregor wants to fight in September.
He says, September. It’s on. It’s done.
Conlan talks about McGregor supporting him at his professional debut at Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick’s Day.
Conor’s coming to the fight. Conor’s gonna walk me out and he’s going to carry the tricolour, which is our national flag. It’s a complete honour. I’ve known Conor for quite a while now. I got him the sparring partners he needed for Nate Diaz, for the rematch. Our friendship’s grown since then…We ran an event together in Belfast. I asked him in front of the whole crowd. He shook on it, gave me his word. He said, ‘It’ll be an honour’…He has serious talent, he’s a great fighter…You’ll have to see what happens when the fight is made with Mayweather, which I do believe will be made. I don’t doubt Conor at all in his ability, and he believes 100% in his ability. And I don’t think he believes he’s going in it for money, he believes he’s going to win. And you’ve got to respect that from anybody.
Conlan talks about talking to McGregor about the Mayweather fight.
I was doing some strength and conditioning, and Conor was out here having talks with the (Floyd) Mayweather team about their possible fight. He came to LA to do some training. He ended up in the gym so it was good to catch up with him. I watched him do some training and he looked great. He looked in shape and he is confident the fight is going to be made. I think it will happen, and I am delighted for him. It is a massive fight, and I hope it happens. I won’t speak on who will win, or if Conor can pose Mayweather problems. I don’t want to get involved in that debate. But Conor believes 100 per cent in his ability, and he believes 100 per cent in himself. He isn’t doing it just for the money. He is doing it to win the fight. He can’t see himself losing. You can’t write someone off who 100 per cent believes in himself. When you have that belief, things happen…People will go crazy for it. But you see the people who complain about it, they will watch it. Boxing fans will watch it. MMA fans will watch it. Everyone will watch it, whether they agree with it or not. Simple as that. Every single person will watch this fight.
Conlan, who is currently training in Los Angeles, talks about his upcoming New York debut.
I’ve had a thousand people contact me about going to the fight which is incredible but I’m not getting carried away believing I have a massive fan base when I haven’t even boxed – it’s also a great excuse to go to New York for St Paddy’s weekend. It’s a lot of expense coming out here to watch me and I know I’ll not get this kind of support all the time so it will be a very special night. Conor and I will raise the roof. He is the hype machine. Everything he touches at the minute seems to be turning to gold. The fact that he’s on board and willing to come along and support me just shows I’ve earned a bit of respect in the fight world. But to have him there with me, two Irishmen… it just brings the whole thing to a new level. What I have planned for my debut is going to be mental. The ring entrance, everything – I have the whole thing planned. I even have my kit picked already. I’m going to make a show, and make entertainment for boxing again.
Conlan announces that McGregor will carry the Irish flag during the walkout for his first professional bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
McGregor gives some words of advice to Conlan.
I’ve no doubt Michael, you’re a solid, solid boxer. You are skilled boxers down here [Belfast]. You’ve got good backing, and the sky’s the limit for you and I look forward to following your career. The sky is the limit, you just have to stay focused. I don’t have to tell you to train hard. You’re hard worker and a successful amateur boxer and you’re climbing into the pro ranks. I don’t have to sit here and say ‘hey kid, hit the bag three times a week.’ You go in and you be yourself, get that win, and then there’s no stopping you. So you just keep your head down, stay working, take no prisoners in there. I just have to tell you to go out and be yourself, take no shit. That’s the main thing, take no prisoners. Let the whole division you’re in know what you’re coming to do, then go out and follow what you’ve said, go and do it, and the rest falls into place.
After Conlan posts an image of boxing boots that McGregor has sent him, McGregor tweets his support.