Michael Conlan to remain amateur for Rio Olympic Games
Michael Conlan has revealed that he will remain an amateur until after the 2016 Rio Olympics but admits he came "very close" to turning professional.
The Belfast bantamweight was a bronze medallist at the 2012 London Games and won a gold medal at this summer's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"My decision is based on how I'm performing at the moment and what will be best for my career," said Conlan.
"I was on the edge of turning pro but going to Rio is my best option."
"I feel I am coming to my prime and am well capable of winning a gold medal in Rio - that's what I have my sights on and that's what I'm focussing on.
"If I can do that it could multiply 10-fold what I'd get for turning professional now - I could be coming home on a huge platform."
Conlan added that it is good to be part of an exciting era for Irish boxing and that his attendance at last month's world title fight between Carl Frampton and Kiko Martinez had almost led to him joining the professional ranks.
"I went to the Frampton fight and thought 'I want to turn professional straight away' - it was the atmosphere, the crowd and the way they cheered the home boxers on.
"I was saying to myself that I want to be in that ring and I want to be doing that."