The Belfast super-fly travels to New York on Monday ahead of his younger brother Michael’s St Patrick’s Day pro debut at Madison Square Garden.
While it is a trip the 30-year-old has been eagerly looking forward to, he first has the small matter of his own big fight to attend to.
Nicaraguan Yader Cardoza (21-10-1) will be in the opposite corner to the elder Conlan at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall tonight, live on BoxNation which features on the Eir Sports pack and Sky TV. The vacant WBC title is up for grabs as Jamie looks to extend his undefeated record to 19-0 before celebrating in the Big Apple.
“That’s the light at the end of a long tunnel after a tough camp,” said Jamie. “But I know I’ve got a job to do on Friday first. I’m glad I’m fighting before Mick so I can relax for his fight. It’s good we’re going away on the Monday because I get to move on quickly. I don’t like fussing over a fight – when I win it’s over with. It’s back to business, cash the cheque and then move on!”
Already ranked No 2 in the world by the WBO, Jamie reckons both Conlans will be competing for world straps sooner rather than later.
“We’re in this together but just on two different paths,” said the 30-year-old. “Things are going well and I’ll just have to keep the momentum.”
Paddy Barnes also features on the card in his second pro bout and the three-time Olympian is keen to show Top Rank what they are missing next week. Barnes made a cheeky Twitter pitch to Michael Conlan’s US promoters in a bid to book an undercard bout on the New York bill, but his hopes were scuppered when the February 18 Belfast fight bill was rescheduled for tonight due to Jamie Conlan picking up a chest infection.
“After Top Rank see my fight, I think they’ll be kicking themselves I’m not on the New York bill,” laughed the 29-year-old, who will be fancied to easily overcome Adrian Dimas Garzon tonight as the 40-year-old Argentine fighter was defeated by Jamie Conlan in four rounds back in 2015.
The elder Conlan has a bigger test on his hands, however, in the form of former world-title challenger Cardoza. Both fighters have predicted a “war”, but the home fighter insists he is more than ready despite being forced to take a break from training due to his recent illness.
“After the break, I’m really ready now, mentally, physically,” said Conlan. “It gave me time to work on the gameplan and study my opponent, which I don’t usually really do. I’ve just got to control the fight. He can go flat-out for 12 rounds so I’ve to expect that.”
The Frank Warren-promoted show also features a solid undercard, with two Dublin v Belfast battles the likely highlights. Declan Geraghty and Belfast puncher James Tennyson clash for the Irish super-featherweight title, while Jake Hanney and Tyrone McKenna meet for the BUI Celtic light-middle title.