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'Who's The Gringo?': Jamie Conlan Reveals American Boxers' Astonishment At Mick's Sparring

'Who's The Gringo?': Jamie Conlan Reveals American Boxers' Astonishment At Mick's Sparring
By Gavan Casey Updated

For the second consecutive fight, Belfast's Jamie Conlan headlines in his hometown on Friday night, when he takes on rugged Nicaraguan Yader Cardoza ahead of a potential world title eliminator later in the year.

The 30-year-old contender is currently 18-0 with 11 stoppages, and tops a bill which also features Paddy Barnes, a tantalising Irish title clash between prospects Declan Geraghty and James Tennyson, along with Phil Sutcliffe, Marco McCullough and the professional debut of 20-year-old sensation Lewis 'The Croc' Crocker.

The card will be broadcast on BoxNation, which is now part of eirSport's BT Sport package in Ireland - a wonderful opportunity for some of Ireland's finest pugilistic up-and-comers to showcase their talents in front of a wider audience in their homeland.

A week later, of course, Conlan's younger brother and former Irish amateur sensation Michael will look to parade his own skills during his pro bow at Madison Square Garden. Jamie recently jetted off to California with Paddy Barnes, Tyrone McKenna and a number of MTK fighters to team up with Mick in Manny Robles' The Rock Gym, where Jamie 'The Mexican' Conlan's moniker went down a treat amongst the heavily Latino contingent.

While he sparred with the heavier world champion Jessie Magdaleno himself, Jamie also witnessed first-hand the American reaction to his younger brother's sparring sessions with the likes of 15-0 Colombian prospect Oscar Negrete. Speaking to The Irish Boxing Show on Balls.ie, Belfast's 'Mexican' revealed that a number of high profile names were left somewhat dumbfounded by the new kid's fighting ability:

Watching him out there in camp, it was very surreal. Seeing cutmen for the likes of Eric Morales and stuff, Miguel Diaz, and a few others... Alfredo Angulo, people coming into the gym - Timothy Bradley - and they are in awe of him.

They didn't know really who he was when he was in sparring. The first question they always ask is, 'Who's the white guy?' They're all over him. They cannot get enough of him. 'Who's the gringo?' mainly!

He stood out in a gym that was full of world champions and elite-level fighters. It was very good to go over and actually see it first hand instead of listening to the stories when he rings you and stuff, because sometimes he bullshits it or he downplays it, you know?

Not every day is going to be a day where he's dominating in the spar but that's what he wanted. He's a small fish in a big pond over there, but the small fish is definitely taking lumps out of the big fishes.

The full interview with Jamie, including a preview of his own fight live on BoxNation on Friday night - and why the Conlans won't be adopting Mick's new gymmate Jason Quigley - is available in The Irish Boxing Show below. The full episode will also be available on iTunes later today.

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