New York City

Conlan is happy to carve out his own path in pursuit of world bid

The hyperbole surrounding Michael Conlan might suggest to some that he is trying to run before he has ground his boxing apprenticeship but the Belfast man insists nothing could be further from the reality of his camp in London with coach Adam Booth.

In the early hours of Monday morning, Conlan will stride once more onto the Madison Square Garden stage as he seeks to kick off what should be a critical 12 months.

Mexican Ruben Garcia Hernandez is expected to be his most serious test so far as his three defeats in 29 fights have only come at the hands of two world champions, Nonito Donaire and Randy Caballero, and Rafael Rivera, who recently went the distance with Leo Santa Cruz, the WBA featherweight title holder.

Conlan's profile in the States is just where he wants it to be with leading promoter Bob Arum showcasing the 27-year-old on major shows in between his annual St Patrick's Day headliner in the Garden.

The treatment I get is normally reserved for the top basketball players and NFL guys and here's a little kid from Belfast being put in the same spotlight."

Conlan's close friend Paddy Barnes is also on the MSG show, returning to the ring after his World title defeat in August.

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