Published: 15:28 | 24/12/17

Conlan inspired by "hero" brother Jamie

Michael Conlan says he would have stopped boxing if his "hero" brother Jamie had given up the sport as a teenager.

Featherweight Michael, 26, beat Luis Fernando Molina on points at Madison Square Garden in New York on 9 December to make it five wins from five fights since turning professional after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

But Belfast boxer Conlan, who is scheduled to fight again at the same venue over St Patrick's weekend in 2018, says he probably would not have stuck with the sport if it hadn't been for the example of his brother Jamie.

Michael, who won flyweight bronze at the 2012 Olympics in London and was world amateur champion at bantamweight in 2015, says he has always wanted to match the achievements of his brother, Jamie who is the current Commonwealth super-flyweight champion and was unbeaten in his first 19 fights as a professional.

However Jamie, 31, lost his 20th and most recent fight, when he was stopped in the sixth round by champion Jerwin Ancajas in the IBF super-flyweight title bout at the SSE Arena on 18 November.

"You are definitely still my hero [despite the defeat to Ancajas]," Michael told Jamie in eir Sport's "Conlan vs Conlan" programme, which will be broadcast on Christmas Day at 7.50pm on eir Sport 1.

"The only reason I got into boxing was because you and [older brother] Brendan were doing it.

"But when Brendan kind of fell away from the sport, I wanted to be like you. You were older, and I wanted to do everything you did.

"And I think if you had stopped boxing at the age of 18 or so, then I probably would have stopped boxing."

eir Sport's "Conlan vs Conlan" programme will be broadcast on Christmas Day at 7.50pm on eir Sport 1.

Image: Inpho/ Tom Hogan

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