Michael Conlan excited as he prepares for pro debut at Madison Square Garden

Michael Conlan at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday
Michael Conlan will make his debut against little known American Tim Imbarra at Madison Square Garden

Michael Conlan says making his professional debut at New York's Madison Square Garden on St Patrick's Day will fulfil one of his dreams.

Conlan was present at the iconic boxing venue on Wednesday as his American-based promoter Top Rank announced further details of the 17 March bout.

The Belfastman will fight Colorado man Tim Ibarra in a bout which is expected to big crowd of Irish-Americans.

"I feel a bit emotional being here in the Garden," said Conlan, 25.

"For my debut to be here on St Patrick's Day is going to be something really, really special."

Conor McGregor
There is speculation that Conor McGregor will lead Conlan into the ring on St Patrick's Day

McGregor may lead Conlan into ring in New York

Conlan is promising to make a grand entrance, although he didn't confirm the widespread speculation that Ireland's UFC star Conor McGregor will carry the Irish flag into the ring.

After his amateur career ended amid uproar following his controversial quarter-final defeat at the Rio Olympics, Conlan insists his professional ranks will only see him registering victories.

"I'm planning to win world title in the super-bantamweight, featherweight and super-featherweight divisions. I have total belief in my ability.

"No matter who is in front of me, no-one is going to beat me."

Top Rank's President Todd DuBoef said that Conlan was their top target following the Rio Games.

In fact, DuBoef added that Conlan's by now infamous one-fingered gesture to the Rio judges after his controversial defeat by Russia's Vladimir Nikitin only made Top Rank more determined to land Conlan's signature.

"He stood up for himself. He stood up for a system and he stood up for what is right," said the Top Rank President.

"We always thought that he had a great deal of ability but we then knew there was something really, really special there."

Legendary Arum hugely impressed by Conlan

DuBoef added that Top Rank's legendary founder and chief executive Bob Arum has been hugely impressed with Conlan's "ability and character".

"Bob's found his little guy who has got personality. Two days ago I got a call from Bob and he told me: 'You take care of Michael'.

"Honestly, Michael you have become his son or is it his grandson. Bob has adopted Michael like no-one else."

Madison Square Garden director Joel Fisher said that the venue was "extremely excited" at the prospect of hosting Conlan's debut.

"We want to make this place his home and be the place where he fights often," said the Madison Square Garden executive.

"You will be in great company, Michael. George Foreman and Evander Holyfield made their pro debuts here."

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