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Conlan calls off Dogboe fight after foot injury

Featherweight contender Michael Conlan suffered an anterior talofibular ligament injury in his right foot and has withdrawn from his Dec. 5 fight against former featherweight titlist Isaac Dogboe.

Conlan (14-0, 8 KOs), 28, is back home in Belfast, Northern Ireland, recovering after suffering the injury at a gym in South London, and admits he is now likely to box next on St. Patrick’s Day 2021.

“We were doing circuit exercises and I fell over a bench. I landed on the foot of the bench and it got inverted and twisted bad,” Conlan said. “It completely ruptured my ATFL.

“It was a freak of an accident. I just have to focus on getting back now. The exercise was stepping onto a bench and down the other side. It was my own fault for not paying attention.”

Conlan said the injury happened during a training session earlier this week. He was planning on returning home to spend Halloween with his family regardless, but now the situation is a bit different.

“It happened Wednesday morning. I was traveling home Wednesday evening anyway, and that was the last thing I was doing before heading home. I got an MRI on Thursday morning. Now I’m home resting and giving myself a few days off, but I still have training to do. Probably I’ll be on my feet [soon] and working away.

“Unfortunately I’m very disappointed, but it is what it is, nothing you can do. It’s part of the game.”

Conlan, a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics for Ireland, last fought on Aug. 15, a 10th-round TKO victory over Sofiane Takoucht. Conlan’s first pro fight was on St. Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2017, a third-round TKO win over Tim Ibarra. He fought on the same holiday weekend in 2018 and 2019, and his scheduled fight on March 17 this year against Belmar Preciado was canceled four days before the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He believes headlining a card on that day in 2021 would be a great way to return. As for an opponent, he still has eyes on Dogboe.

“If I was to be realistic I would say St. Patrick’s Day [March 17] looks like the next viable date for me. I had agreed to face Dogboe. He is someone who would bring out the best in me. Hopefully it can still happen.”

ESPN’s Nick Parkinson contributed to this report.

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