Michael Conlan says he was left bitterly disappointed and significantly out of pocket with the postponement of his scheduled St Patrick's Day fight in New York.

The two-time Olympian was to take Belmar Preciado in Madison Square Garden, but it was called off shortly beforehand due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

Conlan admits the build-up "was a bit crazy" with plans changing on a daily basis.

The Belfast native arrived in the Big Apple on the Wednesday before the Tuesday bout, with doubts already creeping around the event. By Thursday the Belfast native was told that the fight may go ahead behind closed doors, with ESPN keen to ensure at least a TV audience got to witness the bout.

"I was happy to do whatever it took," he told RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport.

"If you don't fight, you don't get paid. I had a 10 week training camp in London and had to pay for accommodation, sparring partners.

I said I'd do what I have to do to win

"I'm lucky enough to be in a good position financially. I'm okay, I'm happy."

With 13 straight wins since leaving the amateur ranks, in some packed arenas, the featherweight admitted that it would have been difficult to focus on the task at hand in an empty venue.

"It would have felt like I was going backwards, but I said I'd do what I have to do to win."

With awareness soaring around Covid-19, the 28-year-old began asking more questions regarding the health risks of participating in such a bout and requested tests to be carried out.
"I don't want to go in against an opponent who has it and then passes it on to me."

The fight was cancelled shortly after, with Conlan admitting he was "heartbroken" for his loyal fans, saying he expected as many as 3,000 to cross the Atlantic to support the 2012 bronze medallist.

He reiterated his view that many boxers will struggle financially to survive with no source of income, but from his own point of view, says there has been one silver lining to the current self-isolation measures.

"This is actually a bit of enjoyment for me being off because I'm able to be around my family, my kids and that doesn't happen very often."