Michael John Conlan, born on November 19, 1991, is a professional boxer from Ireland. He challenged for the IBF featherweight title in 2023 and the WBA (Regular) featherweight title in 2022. Conlan had a highly successful amateur career, reaching the number one spot in the AIBA bantamweight world rankings. His achievements include winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and securing gold at the 2015 World Championships, making him one of Ireland’s most accomplished amateur fighters in history. Despite his amateur success, Conlan decided to turn professional in 2016 due to his dissatisfaction with the amateur sport and had his first professional bout in 2017.
Early Life: Michael Conlan was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His father, John Conlan, who also served as his coach, comes from Drimnagh, Dublin. Additionally, his elder brother, Jamie, pursued a career in professional boxing as well.
Amateur Career: Conlan’s amateur career was marked by numerous achievements. He won his first Ulster novice title at the age of 11 and became a three-time Irish national flyweight champion. At the 2012 Olympics, he won his debut match against Ghanaian boxer Duke Micah and secured a bronze medal after defeating French boxer Nordine Oubaali in the quarterfinals. Conlan’s journey at the Olympics ended with a loss in the semifinals to Cuba’s Robeisy Ramírez, who eventually won the gold medal.
Following the Olympics, Conlan continued to excel in the amateur boxing world. He won a silver medal at the 2013 European Championships and transitioned from flyweight to bantamweight. In 2014, he won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, defeating England’s Qais Ashfaq despite returning to training only two weeks prior due to an injury.
In 2015, Conlan competed in the World Series of Boxing for Italia Thunder, aiming to secure qualification for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He finished second in the individual ranking, earning an Olympic berth. Conlan’s achievements in 2015 also included winning the European Championships at bantamweight and being named Boxer of the Tournament. He won the gold medal at the 2015 World Championships in the bantamweight division, marking Ireland’s first-ever male World Championship gold medal.
In recognition of his outstanding accomplishments, Conlan was named the RTÉ Sports Person of the Year for 2015 in December of that year.