Sunday 22 April 2018

Conlan gets victory wish without the fireworks

Undefeated Belfast super-flyweight Jamie Conlan. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile
Undefeated Belfast super-flyweight Jamie Conlan. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Undefeated Jamie Conlan will head to Rio early next month to support his brother Michael at the Olympics with 17 wins under his belt.

The Belfast super-flyweight stopped Patrik Bartos of the Czech Republic at the Ice Arena in Cardiff on Saturday night and got his wish - victory minus the fireworks.

Conlan, who has been involved in some of the biggest battles in his division in recent years, dropped Bartos twice in the second and the bout was stopped 56 seconds into the frame.

Saturday's win could set up a British title clash with England's Khalid Yafai. Conlan, the Commonwealth champion, and Yafai are the mandatory challengers.

Irish cruiserweight and welterweight Gary Sweeney and Tyrone McKenna beat Slovakia's Marek Gabor and England's Chris Adaway on the Cardiff card.

Two-time Olympic champion Guillermo Rigondeaux demonstrated why Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz, who meet in New York on July 30 for the WBA world feather title, are avoiding him.

The unbeaten Cuban southpaw successfully defended his WBA super-bantam belt by stopping England's James Dickens in the Welsh capital.

Dickens' bid to win the title in a re-arranged contest ended in the second round, with the Merseysider's corner pulling out their fighter with a broken jaw after the Cuban, a former double Olympic champion, had landed a thunderbolt left hand.


Rigondeaux, often criticised for being an overly-defensive fighter, said afterwards: "I ripped his jaw out. All those guys that want their jaws ripped out, I'm here."

Meanwhile, Amir Khan has been written off as "yesterday's news" by Manny Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum, dashing the Briton's hopes of appearing in the Filipino's comeback fight.

Pacquiao, an eight-weight world champion, had retired in April to concentrate on a career in politics in his homeland but is now poised to fight again in late October this year.

Khan, whose recent attempt to move up to middleweight backfired when he was emphatically beaten by Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas, had been touted as a possible opponent for Pacquiao.

But those ambitions have been crushed by Arum, who claimed: "He is looked upon on both sides of the pond as yesterday's news, and yet he refuses to recognise that and feels that his value is very, very high, which it is not."

Irish Independent

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