Michael Conlan reacted to his first loss in professional boxing by scoring three knockdowns on his way to a dominant points win over Miguel Marriaga on Saturday.
Conlan (17-1, 8 KOs) from Belfast, Northern Ireland, reignited his hopes of fighting for the world title with this unanimous decision (99-88, 98-88, 99-89) over experienced Colombian Marriaga in a 10-round Untitled competition.
Conlan, 30, was knocked out (and out of the ring) by WBA ‘regular’ champion Leigh Wood in the final round five months ago but got his career back on track with this confident victory in front of his home fans at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
“I got rid of a lot of demons in the last round,” said Conlan.
“I had to be careful and use my shots. I got caught on the last lap so that says a lot I’m going through and I’m back. I want Lee Wood, but every other champion I meet that I know I will beat them.”
Marriaga (30-6, 26 KOs) has now lost back-to-back but was upset with the losses and insisted he had slipped. However, Marriaga was outclassed from start to finish and Conlan particularly impressed in the later rounds.
Conlan boxed carefully and patiently from behind his jab until he opened up more in the second half of the fight, landing some good left hands in the sixth round.
The Belfast boxer nailed his shots well again in the seventh round, sending Marriaga to the canvas with a captivating left hook after the Colombian went off balance.
Marriaga, 35, complained about a count and said he slipped, but a lap later in the eighth lap he was back down. Conlan discharged a sharp combination that sent Marriaga down to one knee after his foot gave way.
Conlan forced another knockdown in the ninth round when Marriaga was overpowered.
Conlan may have to wait for a rematch with England’s Wood, who is pursuing a fight against Mexican Leo Santa Cruz, for the full WBA featherweight world title.
https://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/34359791/michael-conlan-responds-first-professional-defeat-outlasts-miguel-marriaga Michael Conlan responds to first professional defeat, outlasts Miguel Marriaga