Former Olympian Michael Conlan, 21-3 (9 KOs) has confirmed he wishes to resume his professional career despite suffering back-to-back stoppage defeats in 2023. 

Conlan, a former decorated amateur who turned professional in March 2017 following his controversial Olympic quarter-final defeat to Russian Vladimir Nikitin the year previous, was embarking on a rapid pursuit towards accomplishing his goal of becoming world champion in his 17th fight against Leigh Wood in 2022. 

A resilient Wood, 28-3 (17 KOs), rallied to land a sensational 12th and final round stoppage of Conaln, retaining his WBA featherweight title while causing an upset with the bookmakers. 

The Irishman Conlan saw himself quickly maneuvered back into title contention in May of last year against Luis Alberto Lopez, 30-2 (17 KOs) and challenged for the Mexican’s IBF world title in his native Belfast at the SSE Arena.  

Lopez scored a knockout-of-the-year contender in the fifth round courtesy of a right uppercut. 

Not to be deterred, Conlan switched amicably left trainer Adam Booth and went to the Miami-based Cuban Pedro Diaz ahead of a December encounter with Jordan Gill, 28-3-1, (9 KOs). Despite Conlan’s best efforts, a rejuvenated Gill saw Conlan return to the locker room with another stoppage defeat, his second in consecutive fights. 

In a recent interview with Irish-Boxing, Conlan insisted his career is not done and that his preparations in the lead-up to his encounter with Gill had been far from perfect on a personal footing. 

“It’s not done. It’s not done. How can I end things how they ended? When I look back on my last performance, it wasn’t even me in the ring.

“It was a terrible performance. I probably shouldn’t have been in the ring, there was a lot of s*** going on in my life, in my family life and it probably wasn’t the right time for that fight,” Conlan admitted.

“That’s just the way things go. You roll the dice and you make mistakes sometimes. These things happen.

“I paid the price, I lost, unfortunately, but we go forward and I don’t think that was a fair assessment of me in there that night, so I look forward to shutting up the naysayers and the doubters and that will happen eventually.”

Conlan has targeted a potential return to action towards the end of 2024 with a preferred date in either November or December. 

“It’s nothing official yet but If I am looking, I’m looking at November-December time,” Conlan said. 

“The time away from the game has been very beneficial to me, not being in the ring, not being in the gym, training but not boxing training, not focusing on boxing in terms of myself, more on the promotion and the managing [of Conlan Boxing]. With the time away, I’m starting to get that bit of an itch and to be honest I still believe I can go and achieve what I said I would do.

“If I do go again, I’m doing it to achieve my goals.”

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