August 12, 2022


Michael Conlan beat Miguel Mariaga in a featherweight competition Saturday night
Michael Conlan beat Miguel Mariaga in a featherweight competition Saturday night

Michael Conlan returned to winning ways at the SSE Arena with an all-around unanimous victory over Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga.

Featherweight Belfast scored three knockouts en route to a comfortable win in his hometown.

Conlan dominated the fight and withstood a late attack from Mariaga in the final round.

The 30-year-old was back after a knockout defeat to Lee Wood in a WBA title showdown in March.

After a few timid opening rounds where both Conlan and Mariaga were playing cat and mouse, trying to train each other, the hometown champion started to gain a foothold in the fight.

Conlan made good use of his front right hook from a southpaw position, drawing Mariaga before landing with a left backhand on several occasions.

He kept moving his head well, landing his shots before falling out of range of the three-time world title contender’s groups.

Michael Conlan watching Miguel Mariaga after one of the three knockouts
Michael Conlan watching Miguel Mariaga after one of the three knockouts

In the sixth round, Kunlan’s superior hit began to tell. Putting his hands low, and continuing to deftly move his head, the Olympic medalist smashed Mariaga’s face, taking his head back on numerous occasions and constantly cheating on him.

As the innings approached and Mariaga became more desperate, Conlan scored an impressive knockout in the seventh round.

The shot’s right hook was the shot that sent the Colombian to the canvas, and Belfast fans thundered into ecstasy. Kunlan’s lightning strike was creating opportunities for his clubbing shots to land.

The second knockout came on the eighth, as Mariaga fell after a flurry of explosive shots landed. In the next round, the Irishman delivered his third knockout in the competition, landing his fierce backhand right on the button.

Mariaga, who had scored more knockouts than Kunlan’s fights, was starting to get tired. Although the late barrage came short.

There was also some great bottom-card action including Padrigue McCrory’s knockout win over Marco Pereban. McCrory is only the second person to stop the Mexican, alongside former world middleweight champion James Diggle.

Tyrone McKenna and Chris Jenkins put on a real show for fans, exchanging skins for 10 grueling rounds, with McKenna receiving a nod at the three judges’ scorecards.

Elsewhere on the card, Sean McComb won by a comfortable decision on Ramiro Blanco, with former Irish star Kurt Walker also winning a one-sided match over Marcos Martinez to advance to 3-0.



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