Jason Cunningham in ‘win-win’ situation against Michael Conlan

Jason Cunningham
Jason Cunningham

Jason Cunningham believes he has nothing to lose and everything to gain when he steps into the lion’s den on Saturday night.

The Woodlands fighter has accepted the test of hot prospect Michael Conlan in front of what will be a vociferous crowd at Manchester Arena this weekend.

Decorated amateur Conlan will be backed by thousands of fans from his native Belfast who will be determined to take over the arena ahead of the main event when their man Carl Frampton clashes with Leeds favourite Josh Warrington.

Conlan is a 1/100 favourite with most bookies and is widely expected to extend his unbeaten record in his tenth pro fight.

But, fighting fit in both mind and body, former two weight Commonwealth champion Cunningham says he should never be counted out.

“Everyone is writing me off, as they would do, including the bookies so it's worth a bet,” he told the Free Press.

“I’m just looking at it the same as I do for every fight. I never shy away from a fight.

“As soon as it was offered to me, on the Frampton-Warrington bill, I jumped at it.

“For me, this is win-win. No one is expecting me to win but I believe as I always do that I can win.

“I’m going in there to win.

“I’m the one with the experience in all this. He’s had an unbelievable career as an amateur, he's tipped for massive things, but in the pros he's untested.

“We’ll see. I’ve ticked all my boxes. Even with the Jordan Gill fight I can see what I could have done to turn it.

Cunningham impressed in defeat to prospects Reece Bellotti and Jordan Gill over the last year, causing both plenty of headaches.

And he plans to do the same against former Olympic bronze medalist Conlan.

“I’m going to go out and box him to see what he’s all about,” he said. “If he's that good and it’s becoming a struggle then I’m going to throw everything at him, like I did against Gill but earlier.

“I’m confident and I’m going in there to beat him and I’m going in there to change my life.

“What happens on the night happens, it’s as simple as that.”