September 27, 2022


Michael Conlan beats Miguel Mariaga in Saturday Night Featherweight Contest
Michael Conlan beats Miguel Mariaga in Saturday Night Featherweight Contest

Michael Conlan returned to winning ways at the SSE Arena with a comprehensive unanimous decision win over Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga.

The Belfast featherweight scored three knockdowns on his way to a comfortable victory in his hometown.

Conlan controlled the fight and withstood a late charge from Mariaga in the final round.

The 30-year-old made his comeback after losing by knockout to Leigh Wood in a WBA title fight in March.

After a timid opening round where both Conlan and Marriaga played cat and mouse, trying to work each other over, the hometown hero began to gain ground in the fray.

Conlan used his right hook well from a southpaw stance, baiting Mariaga before landing the left cross on multiple occasions.

He continued to move his head well, landing shots before escaping the three-time world title contender’s combinations.

Michael Conlan watches Miguel Marriaga after one of his three knockdowns
Michael Conlan watches Miguel Marriaga after one of his three knockdowns

By the sixth round and Conlan’s superior jab was starting to tell. Keeping his hands down, continuing to move his head brilliantly, the Olympian threw Mariaga’s face, snapping his head back on multiple occasions and constantly confusing him.

With the rounds ticking by and Marriaga getting more desperate, Conlan scored a superb knockdown in the seventh round.

The key right hook was the shot that sent the Colombian crashing to the canvas and the Belfast crowd going wild. Conlan’s lightning jab created opportunities for his clubbing shots to land.

The second knockdown came in the eighth, where Marriaga went down after a flurry of explosive shots. In the next round, the Irishman scored his third knockdown of the contest, landing a vicious backhand right on the button.

Mariaga, who has scored more knockouts than Conlan has had fights, was starting to tire. Despite the late barrage, he made it through.

There was also impressive undercard action, including Padraig McCrory’s knockout victory over Marco Periban. McCrory is only the second person to stop the Mexican, alongside former IBF world super-middleweight champion James DeGale.

Tyrone McKenna and Chris Jenkins put on a real show for the fans, trading leather for 10 grueling rounds, with McKenna getting the nod on the three judges’ scorecards.

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



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