Decorated Irishman Michael Conlan vs Tim Ibarra SIGNED professional debut official on-site 26 page programme billed "Conlan To America" 17th March 2017, Madison Square Garden Theater, New York.
Belfast boxer Michael Conlan had a St Patrick's Day to remember as he beat Tim Ibarra on his professional debut at Madison Square Garden.
The super-bantamweight stopped Ibarra in the third round of six in front of over 5,000 Irish fans in New York as he moved on from his Olympic heartbreak, where he insisted he had been cheated out of a gold medal at Rio 2016 by some poor scoring.
Conlan, who was joined on his walk to the ring by UFC fighter Conor McGregor, was in no mood to leave this one up to the judges and forced referee Benjy Esteves Jr to step in when a powerful right hand left his American opponent on the ropes.
The 25-year-old has been tipped for the top, with his US-based promoters Top Rank booking out the MSG for the next five years, and Conlan was only too happy to build up the hype.
Conlan was clearly delighted with his victory.
He said: "There was pressure and the thing I was most worried about was my performance.
"At times it showed because I was a bit reckless and was not timing my shots. I was just looking for the knockout.
"I am grateful to all the fans who travelled here. I have never experienced anything like that atmosphere in my life.
"To have that on my debut - I do not think it will ever be beaten."
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Michael Conlan - Pro Debut Atmospheric Ring Walk
Michael John Conlan (born 19 November 1991) is an Irish professional boxer from Belfast. He is currently signed with Top Rank.
As an amateur, Conlan reached number one in the AIBA bantamweight World rankings, with achievements that include an Olympic bronze medal at London 2012 and a World Championships gold medal at Doha 2015. He has been one of Northern Ireland's most successful amateur fighters of all time.
Conlan was born in Belfast. His father and coach, John, hails from Drimnagh, County Dublin. His elder brother, Jamie, is also a professional boxer.
Conlan won his first Ulster novice title at the age of 11, and is a three-time Irish national flyweight champion. In his debut match at the 2012 Olympics, he defeated Ghanaian boxer Duke Micah, having received a bye in the first round. In the quarter final, he defeated French boxer Nordine Oubaali by 22–18, guaranteeing himself a bronze medal. Conlan lost his semi-final bout against Cuba's Robeisy Ramírez, who went on to win gold in the final.
After the Olympics Conlan moved up from Flyweight to Bantamweight. He is currently in the AIBA rankings at #1. On 2 August 2014 he won the bantamweight division gold medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, beating England's Qais Ashfaq. Conlan won despite only returning to training two weeks prior following an injury.
2015 started off with Conlan competing in WSB (World Series Boxing) for Italia Thunder. Conlan and his team mate also a fellow Irish boxer Paddy Barnes would compete in seven fights over 14 weeks in an effort to try and secure qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Michael racked up 5 wins out 7 which was just enough for him to finish second in the individual ranking and secure Olympic berth in Rio.
In August 2015 Conlan won the European Championships at Bantamweight and scooped Boxer of the Tournament. He competed in four fights beating; French, Danish, Italian and Great Britain representatives. He only lost 3 rounds out of a possible 36 on individual judges scorecards. His final was a repeat of the 2014 Commonwealth Games final against Great Britain's Qais Ashfaq. Conlan took the first in what was a very technical encounter, the Belfast man took the second on a split, by the 3rd round the No.1 seed (Conlan) was in cruise control which seen him take the round and the fight unanimously to retain Ireland's hold on the European 56 kg Bantamweight title and the best boxer award (both of which John Joe Nevin won in 2013).
In October 2015, Conlan won the gold medal in the bantamweight division at the 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships. It was Ireland’s first ever male World Championship gold medal. In December 2015, Conlan was named as the RTÉ Sports Person of the Year for 2015.
In the men's bantamweight quarterfinal stage of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Conlan was eliminated by a controversial call, in which Russia's Vladimir Nikitin was awarded the victory. Conlan reacted by raising his middle finger at the judges and delivering a strongly-worded live television interview to RTÉ, accusing officials in amateur boxing of corruption. That decision was one of a number that had fellow international boxers and commentators questioning the integrity of Olympic boxing and the scoring system used.
Conlan was found placing bets on boxing events at the 2016 Olympic Games, violating the IOC rules. Accordingly, he was sanctioned with a severe reprimand by the Disciplinary Commission of the IOC.
2012 - Olympic Games:
Conlan won Bronze in the Olympic Games at Flyweight. Results were:
* Ghana Duke Micah: Won (19:8)
* France Nordine Oubaali: Won (22:18)
* Cuba Robeisy Ramírez: Lost (20:10)
2014 - Commonwealth Games:
Conlan won Gold in the Commonwealth Games at Bantamweight. Results were:
* Nauru Matthew Martin: Won (3:0)
* India Shiva Thapa: Won (3:0)
* Uganda Bashir Nassir: Won (3:0)
* Wales Sean McGoldrick: Won (3:0)
* England Qais Ashfaq: Won (3:0)
2015 - European Championships:
Conlan won Gold in the European Championships at Bantamweight. Results were:
* France Anthony Bret: Won (3:0)
* Denmark Frederik Lundgaard Jensen: Won (3:0)
* Italy Francesco Maietta: Won (3:0)
* United Kingdom Qais Ashfaq: Won (3:0)
2015 - World Championships:
Conlan won Gold in the World Championships at Bantamweight. Results were:
* Brazil Robenílson Vieira: Won (2:1)
* Azerbaijan Tayfur Aliyev: Won (3:0)
* Belarus Dzmitry Asanau: Won (3:0)
* Uzbekistan Murodjon Akhmadaliev: Won (3:0)
Following the 2016 Olympics and his disillusionment with amateur boxing, Conlan reaffirmed his intentions of turning professional. Despite interest from several big promotions and rumours of a deal being struck with Mayweather Promotions, it was Top Rank who secured Conlan's signature. On September 23, Bob Arum confirmed that Conlan would be making his professional debut at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, on St. Patrick's Day.
On March 17, 2017, Conlan won his first fight as a professional boxer, beating Tim Ibarra by a third round technical knockout in New York City, United States.
In 2013, Conlan appeared in Celebrity Apprentice Ireland on TV3. In 2016, Conlan appeared in Road To Rio on RTE2.
European Amateur Championships
* Boxer of the Tournament - 2015
RTÉ Sports Awards:
* RTÉ Sports Person of the Year - 2015