By: Ste Rowen
With a familiar feeling of magic in the air from two years ago when he performed in the same theatre on St Patricks Day, Irishman, Mick Conlan scored a whitewash 10-round decision over hopeful challenger, Ruben Garcia Hernandez and although he might not have been able to give the worshipping crowd the KO they craved Conlan, now 11-0 (6KOs), seemed more than happy speaking post-fight,
‘‘Ireland is in New York tonight and Ireland fucking runs New York…I just used my skills as I said I would.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank
He had a tough head on them. There were a few times I probably could’ve stepped on it, but we wanted to practice things we’ve been working on. I felt I did that tonight.’’
Conlan, who now fights at featherweight, a weight class up from where he started as a pro, was in charge from the outset.
His display of attributes keeping most of the fans happy throughout the 10-rounds. Hernandez, 24-3-2, looked out of his depth at times; Mick was too fast, too slick, too much destined to not let anything spoil his night tonight.
Onlookers could tell how much Mick was enjoying himself as he consistently switched from southpaw to orthodox, further bamboozling his Mexican foe.
Ruben’s only brief success felt like a minor inconvenience for the 27-year-old amateur standout to deal with and all three judge’s scorecards read 100-90 for the Irishman, but Conlan was eager to aim for bigger challenges after tonight’s celebration, mainly calling out the man who defeated him in the controversial 2016 Olympics, Vladimir Nikitin,
‘‘Vladimir, I know you’re here tonight. We need to do it again for the fans. I need to write a wrong that shouldn’t have been written.’’
Whatever’s next for Mick, fans can be assured it’ll be engrossing in the ring, and rowdy outside of it.
On the undercard…
Luis Collazo attempted to reintroduce himself to the world welterweight scene with a close split decision victory over Samuel Vargas over 10 rounds. The New York southpaw sustained a cut to his left eye during proceedings, but it didn’t stop him from being able to move well when Colombian, Vargas came charging in.
At 37-years-old and now 39-7 (20KOs), Luis looked the much sharper man as the fight went on, laying the more eye-catching combinations, and though he didn’t look as agile as he used to back in his world champion days, was able to measured when Samuel had some success.
The final scorecards read as, 96-94 98-92 for Collazo, 94-96 for Vargas. Luis the victor was confident of the future ahead post-fight,
‘‘I want to be a world champion again. I still got the desire. I still got the fire. And I would like to fight the top guys in the welterweight division. They know who they are. I called them out before. It just hasn’t happened.’’
In his USA debut and 7th fight as a pro, Paddy Barnes fell to his second consecutive defeat after being dropped en route to a split decision loss to super-flyweight gatekeeper, Oscar Mojica.
Barnes’ frequent flurry of punches weren’t enough to trouble Mojica in the early rounds and the American put the Irishman down with a wonderful body shot in the second. Pale Paddy’s quickfire combinations looked good but did nothing to deter the bigger man from throwing heavy handed shots; one after the other.
By the end of the 3rd, Barnes’ face resembled a man who wanted out of there ASAP.
Weighing in 7lbs heavier than his most recent bout, a world title loss to Cristofer Rosales, Paddy was seriously struggling to find any kind of rhythm, although the final round was certainly his best as Mojica took a backseat. Both fighters made it to the final bell, and Oscar Mojica, determined in his capacity to get the upset, achieved his goal.
The final scorecards were, 56-58 to Barnes, and 58-56 (x2) for Mojica, to improve the American’s record to 12-5-1 (1KO).
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank
Josue Vargas entered the ring in an emerald top hat to match the night and the Irish luck rubbed off on Vargas who dominated 8 rounds of fighting in his 14th pro bout.
Vargas looked the noticeably bigger man in the ring with Adriano Ramirez, and it suited him well to rule behind his jab for the first two rounds, but, Ramirez made him suffer in the third.
But Josue, fighting out of the southpaw stance, kept Adriano at bay. When he threw his dominant jab, it was left to fans to wonder where the rest of Josue’s attack was. With only the scheduled 8 rounds to fight in, Vargas was taking a little bit of a risk by stepping off his attack so much.
The fight entered the 8th and final round and it was left to Ramirez, 10-2 (6KOs) heading into tonight to take the bout by the horns. He was unable to, and Vargas remained sufficiently dominant to see the fight out on top. The final scorecards came out as, 80-72 all for Josue Vargas of New York.
Vargas improves his record to 13-1 (8KOs).