Michael Conlan returned to winning ways in front of an adoring home crowd at the SSE Arena, Belfast, as he took a unanimous points win over Miguel Marriaga on Saturday.
Conlan (17-1, 8 KOs) came into this ten round featherweight contest off the back of his first professional defeat, and it was a damaging one. The 30-year-old had been on top against Leigh Wood, the WBA world champion, but was brutally knocked out in the final round. Colombia’s Marriaga (30-6, 26 KOs) had previously failed in world title tilts three times, and was coming off a wide loss on the cards to Eduardo Ramirez.
Conlan scored knockdowns in the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds here, but there was late concerns after the visitor rocked him to his boots in a dramatic final frame.
Other than that though, the home favourite pretty much coasted through the bout, and Marriaga was left to rue what might have been.
Two scores of 99-89, and a third at 98-88 reflected the Irishman’s dominance, and he moved a step closer to another world title opportunity.
McCrory stops Periban
On the undercard, Padraig McCrory (14-0, 8 KOs) remained undefeated, as he dropped Marco Antonio Periban (26-6-1, 17 KOs) three times on the way to defending his WBC International Silver middleweight title with a fifth round stoppage success.
McKenna outpoints Jenkins
Tyrone McKenna (23-3-1, 6 KOs) returned after a stoppage defeat to Regis Prograis in March, and he took a contentious points win over ten against former British and Commonwealth welterweight champion, Chris Jenkins (23-6-3, 8 KOs).
The Welshman looked like he had done enough to get his hand raised, but the cards read 96-95 (x2) and 97-94 in McKenna’s favour.
Paddy Donovan (9-0, 6 KOs) improved his unbeaten record, and went eight rounds with Tom Hill (10-3, 2 KOs), winning all of the available rounds at welterweight.
Colm Murphy (5-0, 1 KO) took the vacant Celtic featherweight title, as he got the better of Ruadhan Farrell (3-1, 2 KOs) on the cards. 79-74 was enough for Murphy to become new champion.
Kieran Molloy (2-0, 2 KOs) took a second round stoppage win against Evgenii Vazem (9-36, 4 KOs) at super welterweight, while Sean McComb (14-1, 5 KOs) took all six rounds against Ramiro Blanco (18-12-3, 10 KOs).
Kurt Walker (3-0, 1 KO) took a 59-55 win at featherweight against Marcos Gabriel Martinez (18-4, 5 KOs), and Fearghus Quinn (4-0, 1 KO) banked a 40-35 victory over four at middleweight against Seamus Devlin (1-35-1).