Featherweight prospect Michael Conlan barely broke a sweat during his second-round destruction of David Berna on the Jose Ramirez-Amir Imam card last Saturday night in New York, so he will be back in the ring in short order.
Conlan, the popular two-time Irish Olympian whose presence spurred ticket sales for last week's fight at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, is moving into the main arena for his next fight. He will appear on the undercard of the much-anticipated May 12 showdown between lightweight world champion Jorge Linares and junior lightweight titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound king who is moving up in weight, seeking to win a world title in his third weight division.
Conlan will be in an eight-round bout against an opponent to be determined, Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN on Friday.
Conlan, 26, took a bit of a step in competition against Berna (15-3, 14 KOs) and dropped him twice in the one-sided victory, including breaking his rib. Now Conlan is hoping to face a more formidable opponent.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to get a fight with someone undefeated because I want to step up again and show what I can do," Conlan said. "It felt great to be in there against Berna. The fans turned out and the atmosphere was simply amazing. I wish the fight had gone on longer, but that's the way it goes sometimes."
The fight with Berna was Conlan's first under the tutelage of London-based Adam Booth, a move Conlan made because he decided to leave Southern California and return to the United Kingdom for family reasons. So he left Manny Robles and hired Booth, a decision he is so far happy with.
"My trainer, Adam Booth, has brought back what I'm good at, which is using my boxing skills to break opponents down rather than steam in there and try to take them out quickly," Conlan said. "It was a two-day party afterwards. I had a great time but then it was straight back in the gym and preparing for the next one. There are talks about fighting in Belfast in the summer and this fight will set that up."
Conlan's fight on May 12 is not scheduled for the Top Rank on ESPN telecast, but it will be streamed along with the entire card on the ESPN App. When his fight is over, Conlan hopes to relax and watch a main event he is excited about.
"I'm a huge fan of both fighters," he said. "Anyone who likes boxing will love to watch these guys in action. It's a fantastic fight. When you have the speed of Linares, you always have a chance, but I'm leaning towards Lomachenko. He's my pound-for-pound No. 1. I love watching everything he does. He's so different to anyone else."
Moretti said the undercard will also include appearances by welterweight Carlos Adames (13-0, 11 KOs), 23, of the Dominican Republic, and three 2016 Olympians: 20-year-old Las Vegas-based lightweight Teofimo Lopez Jr. (8-0, 6 KOs), who represented his parents' home country of Honduras; junior welterweight Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (3-0, 1 KO), 26, a gold medalist from Uzbekistan who has been idle since September because of a shoulder injury; and lightweight Mikaela Mayer (4-0, 3 KOs), 27, of Los Angeles.