Matthew Macklin wants Michael Conlan to show his class when he takes to the ring on Manny Pacquiao’s Australian undercard in his third professional fight tonight.
Conlan’s six-round featherweight support bout against local fighter Jarrett Owen will take place on Sunday afternoon local time in Brisbane, around 3am Irish time.
The fight bill — headlined by Pacquaio’s defence of his WBO world welterweight title against Aussie underdog Jeff Horn — has been scheduled for a primetime US Saturday-night TV audience.
And Macklin is keen to see Conlan impress in his support slot to his Top Rank promotional stablemate and one of boxing’s biggest names.
“Manny Pacquiao, outside of Mayweather, is the biggest star in the sport,” said former middleweight world-title challenger Macklin.
The bill is set to be the biggest fight card ever to be held Down Under in terms of revenue and attendance, surpassing the 35,000-plus crowd that watched Azumah Nelson defeat Jeff Fenech in their 1992 rematch in Melbourne.
Conlan’s bout marks a first undercard date for the world amateur champion, who headlined US fight shows in New York and Chicago against journeymen opposition in American Tim Ibarra and Alfredo Chanez.
While the Belfast native stopped both of those opponents in three rounds, Conlan gave himself harsh post-fight reviews as he felt he was not at his best in either bout.
His Chicago fight was a particularly messy affair as Chanez looked to spoil the fight and Macklin wants the former Olympic medallist to show his class tonight.
“He needs to be able to make sure he doesn’t let his opponent spoil it… I don’t want him to go down to that guy’s level.”
Macklin claims Owen, who carries a 5-4-3 record, will “come and have a go” for the six-rounder, which will be held be held at 126lbs, although Conlan plans to drop down to super-bantamweight for future title bouts.
The 31-year-old Aussie has been stopped three times in his 12-fight career, but Owen is unbeaten in his last two bouts.
Conlan insists he will not chase a knockout.
“I’m just going to go out there without putting any pressure on myself,” said the Belfast native. “,” said Conlan.
TV: Pacquiao v Horn/Conlan v Owen – BoxNation (Eir/Sky) from 2am.
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