2015 World Champion chats to Off The Ball
World amateur boxing champion Michael Conlan believes amateur fighters will still have the edge at the Olympics against pro fighters who do decide to take part.
The boxing tournaments will now be open to professionals and amateur Conlan, who is a favourite for gold in his weight division is far from fazed as he intimated to Off The Ball tonight.
"I welcome the pros in," said Conlan, who will go pro after the Games.
"Amateur boxing isn't really amateur anymore. It's our full-time job and we are full-blown athletes. And I think we train more professional than most professionals."
The Belfast fighter explained his confidence vis a vis the amateur v pro debate.
"Most amateurs are going to win because everything's in our favour," he said, explaining that there is a huge challenge for a pro fighter to adjust to the intensity of three rounds of three minutes in comparison to the lengthier eight, 10 or 12 round versions and the issues around weight.
"It's like a long-distance runner in a 100 metre race and they're not going to win."
Of pros who might be suited to amateur-based rules, Conlan picked out Manny Pacquiao and Guillermo Rigondeaux.