Published: 17:04 | 16/11/17

Conlan "a kid before Christmas" ahead of Ancajas fight

Jamie Conlan says he feels like "a kid before Christmas" ahead of Saturday's IBF world super-flyweight title fight against Jerwin Ancajas in Belfast.

Conlan takes on Filipino Ancajas on the undercard of the Carl Frampton-Horacio Garcia fight at Belfast's SSE Arena, which is live on BT Sport 1 and Box Nation on Saturday [coverage starts at 8.30pm].

Conlan, fighting for a world title for the first time, says he is in peak condition following a gruelling pre-fight build-up under trainer Danny Vaughan, and sparring bouts with his brother Michael Conlan, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist who turned pro after Rio 2016.

"I am buzzing. I love fight weeks anyway, but this is special," the 31-year-old told eir Sport.

"When you have ticked every box in camp, and pushed yourself to the maximum, you have this overriding optimism.

"You have confidence in yourself and your approach to the fight.

"I am like a kid before Christmas - this is the countdown to Christmas for me."

Conlan is known as a street fighter, who has often ground out wins through heart and desire rather than technique.

His gruelling fight against Anthony Nelson at the Copper Box Arena in April 2016 was named the British Boxing Board of Control's "Fight of the Year", and he was knocked down in his most recent fight against Nicaragua's Yader Cardoza in March, before recovering to claim his 19th straight professional win.

"It was a training camp where we had to right our wrongs, and explore the mistakes we had made in the past," he continued.

"It made for exciting fights in the past, but they were exciting fights because of mistakes on my part.

"So we brought in the best sparrers we could - we brought in southpaws, we brought in Mick [brother Michael Conlan].

"And that camp showed me I deserve to be at this level. I will go through walls to win this belt - it is everything I have worked for."

Photo: Inpho/Matt Mackey

Carl Frampton's fight against Horacio Garcia at Belfast's SSE Arena on Saturday,18 November will be shown live on Box Nation and BT Sport 1 from 8.30pm. Belfast boxer Jamie Conlan will face Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines for the IBF world super-flyweight belt and triple Olympian Paddy Barnes faces Nicaragua's Eliecer Quezada over 10 rounds on the same bill.

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