Saturday 18 November 2017

Owen iced as classy Conlan keeps his cool in Aussie heat

Michael Conlan lands a punch on Jarrett Owen during their featherweight bout in Brisbane. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Michael Conlan lands a punch on Jarrett Owen during their featherweight bout in Brisbane. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Bernard O'Neill

Michael Conlan produced his most complete performance so far as a professional to improve his record to three straight wins in front of over 50,000 fans at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

The Belfast native stopped Australia's Jarrett Owen in the third round on undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn card.

Owen, the current Queensland champion, never really looked like troubling the only Irishman to claim an AIBA World Elite title, with the Ulster orthodox switching to southpaw to detonate heavy hooks in the opening round.

Conlan continued to find the target with body shots in the second and a left to the torso almost sunk the Aussie in the third before a cluster of punches to the head prompted the referee to take the Brisbane native into protective custody with 64 seconds remaining to the end of the frame.

The Irishman, whose KO percentage now stands at 100 after three straight third-round stoppages in his pro career, could be added to the Oscar Valdez undercard in Arizona later this summer.

Other top promotions - including the WBO World heavyweight duel between Ireland's Hughie Fury and Joe Park of the United States in Manchester - are also being touted.

The two-time Irish Olympian, who is signed with Top Rank USA, expects to be back between the ropes in late September after short circuiting his scheduled six-rounder with Owen.

"It was my best performance as a professional. I feel great about that. I was disciplined and focused on executing the game plan," he said.

"It took me two rounds to find my range and then I was able to settle in and break him down. The body shots were hurting him.

"It was an amazing atmosphere. There was an amazing amount of Irish here," added Conlan, who insisted he was not bothered by fighting outdoors in the beaming sun.


Meanwhile, Dublin featherweight Declan Geraghty, like Conlan a former Irish champion and IABA High-Performance athlete, got back to winning ways after a points victory over unbeaten Michael Roberts in Scotland.

Geraghty, who lost in March to James Tennyson for the vacant Irish super-feather belt, impressed against the Glaswegian en route to claiming the BPAA international belt and improving to 14 wins from 16 outings.

Elsewhere, Ireland's current IBF bantam champion Ryan Burnett gave Team Ireland a pep talk at the National Stadium ahead of the European Youth and Junior Women's Championships, which begin in Sofia today.

Irish Independent

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