Michael Conlan feels Pedro Diaz is bringing out the best in him as he prepares for his first fight with his new trainer against Jordan Gill in Belfast on Saturday night.
Conlan linked up with the Florida-based trainer after parting company with Adam Booth earlier this year.
The 32-year-old failed in his two world title bids while working with Booth.
“I needed to get back to using my best assets rather than doing things that weren’t natural to me,” said Conlan.
“I feel good and I think it was the right choice [parting ways with Booth and linking up with Diaz].”
Conlan joined forces with Diaz, who has previously trained six-time world champion Miguel Cotto, after meeting with “a few” coaches.
However, having considered his options, he opted for the 61-year-old Cuban because he “ticked all the boxes for me”.
“He’s a part of everything,” added Conlan, referring to Diaz’s influence in the months leading up to Saturday’s super-featherweight contest with Gill at the SSE Arena.
“He’s had a plan for the start of the camp and the end of the camp. He’s understood me as a boxer, as an amateur and a professional. We’re just a very good match.”
Conlan spent five years with Booth but was unable to realise his world title dream under the London-based trainer, losing bouts against Leigh Wood and Luis Alberto Lopez.
When asked why he parted ways with Booth, Conlan said: “I felt with Adam, we had two world title attempts and both failed, one albeit was very, very close.
“But the other one I just didn’t perform so I just thought it’s time for a change. You’d rather make the change now rather than regret it at the end.
“I’m happy I have made the change. We ended on amicable terms so it’s all good.”
‘No bad blood with Gill’
Fighting for the first time since his fifth-round knockout loss to Lopez in May, Conlan hopes to get his career back on track with victory over England’s Gill.
Former Commonwealth champion Gill, 29, has not fought since losing his European featherweight title to Kiko Martinez in October 2022.
When asked why Gill interested him as an opponent, Conlan said: “I’ve sparred Jordan, I know Jordan. He’s a good fighter, a very good fighter, someone who if you’re not on your game will beat you.
“So you’ve got to be switched on and I felt coming back into a fight after a loss, I needed someone who was going to keep me on it rather than just a walkover kind of fight.”
He added: “There’s no bad blood. You see all the stuff in the media and how they portray things, but that’s just part of the build-up and the whole fight.
“I’ve no care for him, I’ve no thought of him really. I’m just focusing on putting in a performance.”