Boxing

Points win for Conlan ahead of Belfast return

By Padraig Kelly

MICHAEL Conlan's last fight before his return to Belfast proved to be a successful one following a unanimous points victory against Spaniard Ibon Larrinaga at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

Conlan, who will fight Brazilian Adeilson Dos Santos at the SSE Arena on June 30, was brought the distance for only the second time in his professional career, but he was never in any serious bother with all three judges scoring the contest 80-72 in his favour.

The fight came on the undercard of a main event that saw Vasyl Lomachenko claim a world title in a third weight division with victory over Jorge Linares at the famous New York venue.

Conlan controlled proceedings from start to finish with Larrinaga content to absorb the punishment throughout while offering little in the way of attack.

After setting the pace in the opening three rounds, Conlan started to raise the tempo in the fourth and Larrinaga ended up on the canvas seconds after the Irish boxer landed a hefty right, but referee Ron Lipton correctly deemed it a slip after the two had tangled.

Conlan came out for the fifth round and tried to up the ante once again, but his defensive opponent continued to circle the ring to keep largely out of harm's way.

Larrinaga did show a bit more offence in the sixth round with a few left jabs finding their target, but they made little impact on Conlan who was still hunting for gaps.

After a seventh round with little or no action, Conlan tried to finish with a flourish but he had to be content with a win on the scorecards as Larrinaga continued to tie him up.

Ultimately though it was a case of job done for Conlan as he moved to 7-0-0 ahead of his homecoming bout next month.

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