- Premier League | Analysing the top-four race - July 5, 2020
- GAA | Shane Dowling retires from inter-county hurling - July 2, 2020
- Part Two | Ranking every Premier League team’s return to action - June 28, 2020
Michael Conlan produced an impressive third round TKO in his professional debut against Tim Ibarra in New York tonight.
The Belfast boxer took time to find his rhythm and range, but dominated the opening two rounds comfortably.
Conlan assaulted Ibarra with a relentless barrage of combinations and body shots in the third, and the referee stepped in to halt the contest 59 seconds into the round after Conlan caught Ibarra with several heavy shots.
The 25 year old made his ringwalk to ‘Put ‘Em Under Pressure’, and was escorted to the ring by Conor McGregor.
The Olympic medallist was clad in a sleeveless 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.
“I took my time and got the stoppage. I’ll never forget this night for the rest of my life. I’m proud.”
Ironically, it was five years to the day since Conlan’s trainer Matthew Macklin was defeated at the same venue by Sergio Martinez, but Irish boxing fans were treated to a happier outcome this time around.
It was another good night for Irish boxing. Conlan has now joined Paddy Barnes and Katie Taylor in making undefeated starts to their respective professional careers, and Michael’s elder brother Jamie is expected to challenge for a world title in the near future after his impressive win last week.
Conor McGregor, who offered animated encouragement throughout the fight from Conlan’s corner, was impressed with the boxer’s debut display.
“It was beautiful work. You got the win and the win is the most important thing.”