"It was very lonely. I used to be looking out the window wishing I was home" 5 months ago

"It was very lonely. I used to be looking out the window wishing I was home"

It's hard to believe that it hasn't even been two years since Michael Conlan made his pro debut.

In the space of 20 months, he's backed up his feared status among the best amateurs by rampaging through the early stages of his professional career.

20 months, 10 fights. 10 wins and one belt.

Now, with the WBO Inter-Continental Featherweight title in his clutches and time on his side having just turned 27 in November, his eyes are fixed firmly ahead - on different weight divisions and different belts.

His move to LA to train under Freddie Roach garnered him great experience. He's mature now, he's in the shape of his life and he knows what he wants.

His appearance on RTE's Late Late Show on Friday night showed each of those qualities off as well as his last fight did three weeks ago in Manchester.

Conlan spoke about his time away in America and how it hit home to him how much he loves his country and how much he missed it.

 

"I love Ireland," he said, as he opened up about the realisation so many emigrants face, that their pride for the home grows stronger when they leave.

"I lived abroad for one year and the only music I ever listened to... I never really listened to Irish traditional music until I went abroad and I was a full-forced rebel when I came back.

"It's one hundred per cent true, I know nearly every single Irish song now, every Wolfe Tones song you can name. When I'm in the dressing room, it's the music I'd listen to when I'm warming up.

"Being away one year... I've been away all my life with the Irish team and travelling abroad but living away from family when there's an eight-hour time difference, a 12-hour flight, with just my fiancee and daughter - it was just the three of us at the time and it was very lonely.

"The Irish music helped. I used to be looking out the window seeing all these boats and stuff and going, 'ah, I just wish I was home.'"

Conlan was on a panel of four alongside film star Barry Keoghan, discussing their generation and he could easily see a contrast between him and his dad.

"How we speak now in this generation is very different to past generations. It's a confidence thing," he said.

"I'm saying I want to be a three-weight world champion but, if it was my father telling me, it would be, 'jeez, you can't be saying these things, that sounds too cocky. You sound a bit arrogant. You can't speak out like that.'

"The generations of the past - especially Irish people - if you were so outspoken and flamboyant, you were seen as a kind of a 'big act'. I don't think it's like that no more."