Five months after being knocked out in the final round of a war against Leigh Wood, Ireland’s Michael Conlan returns against Colombian puncher Miguel Marriaga
FIGHTER-TURNED-PROMOTER Jamie Conlan puts on a show at Belfast’s SSE Arena that looks well-matched from top to bottom. Not only that, Jamie has the added pressure of watching his brother Michael Conlan step back into the ring for the first time since being knocked out of it by Leigh Wood in March.
Conlan, 16-1 (8), will take on gnarled Colombian veteran Miguel Marriaga, 30-5 (26), over 10 rounds on Saturday night (August 6) knowing another slip-up could end his title ambitions. Marriaga has surely seen better days at 35, but he only loses to quality fighters. The lone man to stop him was Vasiliy Lomachenko, in seven rounds in 2017. Fighters unable to shift the Colombian include Oscar Valdez, Nicholas Walters, Joet Gonzalez and Eduardo Ramirez.
But Marriaga is no stranger to the canvas, having been dropped seven times as a pro. Conlan can whack, as evidenced by the amount of trouble Wood was in before his Rocky-esque late comeback in Nottingham. Conlan insists there’s no hangover from that defeat and he’ll be keen to test Marriaga’s ambition early in the bout. The pick is for Conlan to win a lopsided decision.
The rest of the card is solid. Belfast “Hammer” Padraig McCrory steps up against Mexican gatekeeper Marco Antonio Periban, 26-5-1 (17). The visitor has been stopped by James DeGale and Joshua Buatsi and will do well to avoid the right hand of McCrory, 13-0 (7). Place your bets on the home fighter inside the distance.
Harder to call is the 10-round welterweight scrap between Tyrone McKenna, 22-3-1 (6), and Welshman Chris Jenkins, 23-5-3 (8). After beating Julius Indongo over eight rounds in February, the 33-year-old started to look his age when he was blasted out in four by Florian Marku in April. McKenna is also looking to bounce back after taking a six-round pasting at the hands of Regis Prograis in March. We expect McKenna to prevail on points.
Limerick welterweight southpaw Paddy Donovan, 8-0 (6), should be too good for Redcar’s Tom Hill, 10-2 (2), and there’s a tidily matched bout for the vacant Celtic featherweight strap between Belfast rivals Ruadhan Farrell, 3-0 (2), and Colm Murphy, 4-0 (1).
The show is being broadcast by FITE TV.