An electric crowd packed the house for the St. Patrick’s Day card inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Fight fans, Irish lads and gals were ecstatic to welcome the professional debut of Ireland’s son, Michael Conlan.
The packed house of 5,102 was also treated to Conlan’s ring entrance, which was led by none other than UFC star and rumored Floyd Mayweather future foe, Conor McGregor. Tim Ibarra (4-5, 1 KO) welcomed Conlan to the professional ranks for three rounds, while using his footwork to keep Conlan on the hunt for the knockout.
Conlan and Ibarra exchanged jabs in Round 1, as they tested out the distance between each other. Round 2 saw a little more success for Conlan as he was able to slow down the footwork of Ibarra and connect to the body and the head. He stepped on the pedal in the third, had Ibarra trapped on the ropes, and the ref stepped in. Maybe the stop was a shade early, as Ibarra hadn’t been dropped and noticeably wobbled; but the loser didn’t protest long or loud.
Michael Conlan is a former Irish amateur star who gained fame after a disputed defeat to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Conlan was a big favorite against Ibarra (4-5) in his debut, which was scheduled to be a six-round fight. Conlan didn’t win a medal in Rio, but he did make some news. After losing a decision to Nikitin, he flashed obscene gestures at the judges, then sent a tweet to Vladimir Putin suggesting the Russian president helped fix the fight.
Conlan had a few nice comments to share after the fight:
“It was nerve racking but at the same time I think I handled the pressure well for a debut fight. I do believe I’ll be Ireland’s greatest ever fighter and a terrific world champion. This is the start of something great. Look at this atmosphere. Look at this crowd. Where else would you get it?”
Michael Conlan will never forget this St. Patrick’s Day anytime soon. If his first fight is an indication on his future ,he may be install for a bright one.