Sunday 19 November 2017

'I’ll never forget this night for the rest of my life' - Michael Conlan produces third round stoppage on pro debut

Michael Conlan celebrates after defeating Tim Ibarra in their featherweight bout at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Michael Conlan celebrates after defeating Tim Ibarra in their featherweight bout at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

David Smith in

Michael Conlan produced an impressive third round TKO in his professional debut against Tim Ibarra at Madison Square Garden tonight.

The Belfast boxer took time to find his rhythm and range, but dominated the opening two rounds comfortably, despite not landing many big shots.

Conlan came at Ibarra with a relentless barrage of combinations and body shots from the first bell of the third, and the referee stepped in to halt the contest 59 seconds into the round.

The 25 year-old made his ringwalk to 'Put 'Em Under Pressure', and was escorted to the ring by Conor McGregor.

UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor ahead of Michael Conlan's fight at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York last week. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor ahead of Michael Conlan's fight at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York last week. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

The Olympic medalist was clad in a sleeveless emerald green jacket and a matching top hat, and the Irish fans in a sold-out Madison Square Garden basement arena were in full voice.

"It was nerve wracking but I think I handled the pressure well for my debut fight," Conlan said afterwards.

Michael Conlan, right, in action against Tim Ibarra in their featherweight bout at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Michael Conlan, right, in action against Tim Ibarra in their featherweight bout at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

"I took my time and got the stoppage. I’ll never forget this night for the rest of my life. I'm proud."

McGregor was also impressed with Conlan's debut display.

"It was beautiful work. You got the win and the win is the most important thing."

Michael Conlan in action against Tim Ibarra in their featherweight bout at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Michael Conlan in action against Tim Ibarra in their featherweight bout at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Michael Conlan (R) lands a right hand to the head of Tim Ibarra (L) during their super bantamweight bout at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on March 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)
Michael Conlan (R) lands a right hand to the head of Tim Ibarra (L) during their super bantamweight bout at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on March 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)

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