Sunday 26 January 2020

Michael Conlan extends his unbeaten pro record in front of adoring Belfast crowd

Michael Conlan: First real test. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Conlan: First real test. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Michael Conlan won his first professional fight on home soil with a points decision against Adeilson Dos Santos in Belfast on Saturday night.

The 26-year-old - a gold medallist at the world and European amateur level and the Commonwealth Games - rose to prominence at the 2016 Olympics when he questioned the integrity of officials following a defeat in the quarter-finals to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin.

Since turning professional later that year, he won seven fights in the United States and Australia and maintained his perfect record on his home debut, being handed the bout against Dos Santos 79-73 after eight rounds.

After a thrilling homecoming entrance, Conlan started cautiously and found a tough opponent in the Brazilian.

But his impressive footwork kept him out of trouble as he outmanoeuvred Dos Santos in the second half of the fight, and ultimately maintained his unbeaten record.

Conlan said: "It was daunting, I feel okay now. He forced the pace, he was smart and awkward, I'm happy with the victory.

"[I'm] still not the finished article, I've still a lot to learn, I'd give it a six out of ten...that's part of learning."

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