Michael Conlan Makes Pro Debut, Stops Ibarra in Three

In front of a raucous, largely pro-Ireland crowd, Michael Conlan, 122.75 lbs., of Belfast, North Ireland delivers in his professional debut as he stops Tim Ibarra (4-4), 123 lbs., of Colorado in the third round of a scheduled 6 round super featherweight bout in the Madison Square Garden Theatre. After two meticulous opening frames, the former amateur Commonwealth, European and World champion picked it up in the third and rocked Ibarra with a series of head shots. The fight didn’t last much longer, as the referee halted the action seconds later to save the overmatched Ibarra from incurring any further punishment. The fight was cathartic to Conlan, as it was his first bout since suffering a controversial loss to Olympic bronze medalist Vladimir Nikitin in Rio this past August.

The co-main event featured Alex El Cholo Saucedo (23-0) 141 lbs., vs Johnny Garcia (19-4) 142.25 lbs. in an eight-round welterweight bout with Saucedo winning via TKO at 2:40 of round two.

The undercard featured bouts between Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao (3-0), 131 lbs., Salvador, Bahia, Brazil vs Aaron Hollis (3-5), 129.25 lbs. in a six round super featherweight bout. Conceicao showcased his athleticism and dropped Hollis towards the end of round one. Hollis was stopped at beginning of round two.

Jose “El Chocolatito” Gonzalez 123.75 lbs. (NYC, NY) (6-0-1) scored a third-round knockdown in route to winning a unanimous decision (60-53 on all three judges’ scorecards) over Jhovany Collado 125 lbs. (4-11-2) in a six-round featherweight bout.

Alexander Picot (2-2) won a unanimous decision (38-37, 38-37, 40-35 on the three judges’ scorecards) over Bengar Garcia (Bronx by the way of Bacolad City in the Philippines)140 lbs. (1-2). Picot dropped Garcia midway through round two, bullied him for the rest of the round however could not put him away.

Teofimo Lopez 135 lbs. (3-0) won via knockout in round two against Daniel Bastein 133.25 lbs. (4-4) in a scheduled 6 round lightweight bout. Lopez, who had a quick turnaround from his last bout on 2/24 vs Francisco Medel (W3 KO). Lopez, Floridian by way of Brooklyn who represented Honduras in the Rio Olympics since Carlos Balderas secured the US 60kg spot through the World Series of Boxing, showed his technical acumen early. His speed, reflexes and offensive versatility were too much for Bastein, with a combination to the body doing him in two rounds.

Larry Fryers (3-0) 146.5 lbs. won a unanimous decision over vs Gabriel Solario 147 lbs. (2-4-1) in a four-round welterweight bout. Scorecards were 40-35 across the board for Fryers, and is now scheduled to face Michell Polina (1-2-1) in Civic Complex, Cornwall, Ontario on April 15.

Michael Conlan celebrating in the corner with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor