By Arvin Nundloll at ringside
Michael Conlan headlined the annual St. Patrick’s Day bout at the Theater in Madison Square Garden, taking on versatile super bantamweight Tim Ibarra in a bout scheduled for 6 rounds. Conlan, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, had all the pressure from the sold-out 5,102 in attendance to deliver on this special day and took his time to get settled in. The opening round had Conlan struggling to find his jab and reach as he was constantly missing on his hooks however Ibarra had the look of a man who was in over his head and never found himself in the fight.
Conlan with his confidence rising as each round went by, started to let his hands go and closed the distance, leading to a series of devastating power shots to the body and head of Ibarra. Once it became too much, the referee was forced to intervene and put an end to the helpless Ibarra at 0:59 of round 3. Conlan picks up his first win and TKO as a professional boxer and made it seem all too easy in the end, his record now 1-0, 1 KO. Ibarra however moves to 4-5, 1 KO.
Alex Saucedo dazzled and impressed the crowd with a brutal 2nd round stoppage of Johnny Garcia in their scheduled 8 round super lightweight fight. Saucedo dropped Garcia in round 1 before coming in for the close in round 2 and forcing referee Steve Smoger to end the fight early. The official time of the stoppage was 2:42 of round 2. Saucedo remains unbeaten at 24-0, 15 KOs while Johnny Garcia drops to 19-4-4, 11 KOs.
Jose Gonzalez was slow off the mark but rallied towards a unanimous decision over fellow featherweight Jhovany Collado. Gonzalez knocked down Collado with an overhand left in the 3rd round and continued to dish out the punishment for the remainder of the fight. The later rounds remained one-sided in favor of Gonzalez as Collado began to slow down and fight on the back foot. After 6 rounds, the scores were 60-53 across the board in favor Gonzalez, who now moves to 7-0-1, 2 KOs, while Collado is now 4-12-2, 1 KO).
Alexander Picot duked it out with Ben Garcia over 4 rounds in the welterweight division. Picot dropped Garcia in round 2 en route to a comfortable points victory. After 4 rounds, the judges scored the bout 38-37, 38-37 and 40-35.
Teofimo Lopez Jr delivered the first KO of the night, dropping Daniel Bastien with a series of hooks to the body in round 2 of their scheduled 6 round lightweight fight. Bastien came to his knees but was unable to compose himself and was counted out the referee after just 39 seconds in round 2. Lopez Jr moves to 3-0, 3 KOs while Bastien drops to 4-3, 1 KO.
In the opening bout of the night, Larry Fryers (3-0, 1 KO) cruised to a one-sided points victory over Gabriel Solorio (2-4-1) in their 4 round welterweight bout. Fryers dropped Solorio in round 1 but was unable to finish the job and had to remain content with a dominant 4 round performance. The judges scored the fight to Fryers by the same margin of 40-35.