Michael Conlan in action against Jason Gill in Belfast on Saturday night. [Inpho/Laszlo Geczo]

Time for Conlan to quit: Lee

Andy Lee is advising Michael Conlan to retire after a shock seventh TKO loss to Jordan Gill at the SSE Arena in Belfast last weekend left the two-time world title contender’s career hanging in balance.

Conlan, who’s 32, saw his record drop to 18-3 with all three losses via stoppages. It was his second consecutive TKO defeat and it comes after he was halted in five rounds at the same arena by the powerful Mexican and IBF world featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez last May. Before that, Conlan had been cruising to victory over WBA world titlist Leigh Wood when the Englishman dramatically knocked him out of the ring, in Nottingham, back in March 2022.  

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“Brutally honest, Michael has to be considering retirement now,” Lee, the former world middleweight champion turned trained said on DAZN. “I admire his determination to carry on. Tough loss to Leigh Wood, a round away from maybe getting the decision. Then that really tough loss to Luis Alberto Lopez. And maybe that was the time to call it a day.”

Lee, out of Limerick and training, among several prospects, welterweight standout Paddy Donovan, added: “But sometimes, there’s more to life than boxing. You’ve got to think about your health, he has a young family, he’s got to retire now. He’s got a promotional company, he’s done very well outside of boxing. So I think he’s in a good place financially so retire, keep your health, and that’s your wealth.”

A cousin of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Lee described Conlan as one of the “great campaigners” of Irish boxing.

“Let’s not forget all he has done for the sport in Ireland, two-time Olympian, Olympic medalist, a world amateur champion and a two-time world title challenger,” he noted.

Dropped by a Gill left hook in the second round, Conlan never got into his rhythm after that. Gill had an answer for everything he could muster and in the end it was the 29 year-old visitor rallying to stop the hometown hero.  

“Tonight just wasn’t my night,” said Conlan. “I’m going to take some time out and be with my family.”

Brimming with charisma and talent, Conlan had made his debut with much fanfare at New York’s Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick’s Day 2017. He was one of Las Vegas-based Top Rank’s marquee names and would have 10 of his first 13 pro fights in the United States, including three consecutive St. Patrick’s Day outings.