It’s t-minus one day and counting until Ireland’s Olympic hero Michael “MICK” Conlan celebrates St. Patrick’s Day by making his professional debut — headlining a special card at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Conlan’s pro debut, which will be as a featherweight, in a six-round bout against Tim Ibarra (4-4, 1 KO), of Denver, is set for the evening of Friday, March 17, at the “O’Mecca of Boxing.”
And to put an exclamation point on the occasion, fellow countryman and UFC superstar and lightweight champion Conor McGregor has accepted Conlan’s invitation to walk him into the ring!
The main event bouts will be televised in the U.S. on UniMás and Univision Deportes, beginning at 11 p.m. ET / PT; live to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland via Box Nation and live to Brasil via SporTV. Ireland will also have access to a primetime delay via RTE.
“My goal is to be the best Irish fighter of all time. Tim [Ibarra] and I both have to put bread on the table and we’ll be working hard to do that Friday night. I am going to have to knock him out. Over 2,000 fans are flying in from Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and my pro debut. I never dreamed this would be happening to me, that it was even possible — headlining in my pro debut at the Mecca of Boxing. I am taking this whole experience in. I revel in it. It’s going to be electric when Conor McGregor carry’s the tricolor [flag] and walks me into the ring.”
“St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland and last summer, Mick Conlan drove the snakes out of AIBA and the Olympics. He stood up for himself at the Olympics and the world stood up with him when he cheated out of his dream. He’s a phenomenon. We are going to build his career to monster proportions. We have reserved The Garden for the next five St. Patrick’s Days for Mick. The St Patrick’s Day parade starts here.”
“The Irish and UK media are treating this fight like a world championship event. He’s on every front page.”
“This will not be an easy fight for Conlan. I’m going to teach him that there is a big difference between amateurs and professionals. I’m going to rain on his St. Patrick’s Day parade.”
Conlan joins an elite group of fellow Olympic medalists, including George Foreman, Evander Holyfield and Jermaine Taylor, to make his professional debut on boxing’s most hallowed ground. But Conlan is the only one to make his debut as the main event. Over 500 fans from Ireland have purchased tickets and are expected to be in attendance, rooting on the man who drove the snakes out of the Olympics last summer.
The card will also feature junior lightweight ROBSON CONCEICAO (2-0, 1 KO), the first Brazilian boxer to win Olympic gold (2016), and undefeated welterweight contender ALEX SAUCEDO (23-0, 14 KOs) of Oklahoma City, in separate bouts.