WWE superstar Finn Balor and pro boxer Michael “Mick” Conlan have multiple things in common: both are from Ireland, have made their living inside the ring and now both have met each other in person for the first time.
Balor and Conlan were at Madison Square Garden on March 16 because Conlan was at the weigh-ins for his March 17 fight on ESPN while Balor was set to work a WWE live event at the venue. The two Irish athletes, who interact with one another on social media, finally met each other at the venue. Balor spoke with Top Rank Boxing, who promotes Conlan, and talked about his relationship with Conlan, saying he and his mother are fans of Conlan’s boxing career.
“Well obviously Mick’s been representing Ireland for a long time in the Olympics and I’ve been a huge fan and supporter since his amateur career. One thing I will say is that he has a warm personality that it transcends through the television even when he is knocking guys’ heads off. My mother is one of his biggest fans. He’s a favorite back home and we have somewhat similar careers fighting in the ring. [We have] a lot of mutual respect and we got in touch through social media and got to meet him for the first [recently],” Balor said.
Conlan had one of the most noteworthy moments of the 2016 Olympics when he threw a middle finger as a result of a controversial decision loss that knocked Conlan out of contention for a medal. Balor noted that he respect Conlan for standing up for himself.
“That moment in the Olympics kind of showed that Mickey is a stand up man and he says what he believes. That’s very rare these days and I reached out to him and said, ‘Ultimate respect for what you have done.’ He’s gone pro and has gone on to go [now 6-0] so he’s doing great representing Ireland and his family,” Balor said.
Conlan got a quick victory in the television main event of that Madison Square Garden card, knocking out David Berna inside two rounds. Meanwhile, Balor is currently preparing for his first WreslteMania match on April 8, when he wrestles Seth Rollins and The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental title. Fightful will have complete coverage of WrestleMania 34.