At the Marquee, Falls Park, Belfast, Norther Ireland, UK, Top Rank Boxing – Bob Arum, the UK BT Sport, over USA ESPN+ watched local standout Michael Conlan score a stoppage in this outdoor event thousands of Irish fans there to cheer on their local hero Michael Conlan.
In the co-feature British welterweight champion Chris “Rok’ n’ Rolla’ Jenkins, 22-3-2 (8), 146 ¼, of Garnant, Wales, won a technical decsion when the fight was stopped due to his cuts, over Paddy “Pat-Man” Gallagher, 16-6 (10), 147, of Belfast, No. Ireland, UK, at 1:42 of the ninth round for the British and Commonwealth championships.
In the first round Jenkins controlled the round with his jab. Both fighters took turns coming forward. In the second round a fight broke out after the first minute. Gallagher’s best punch is his left hook while Jenkins uses a double jab to set up his right hand.
In the third round it was close with Gallagher going to the body with left hooks but missing more than landing. In the fifth round at the halfway point Jenkins suffered a cut over his right eye with the blood coming down the side of his face.
In the sixth round Jenkins seemed to have a slight edge until the final ten seconds when Gallagher landed a left hook to the body hurting Jenkins, after a missed right another left to the body dropped Jenkins just prior to the bell.
In the seventh round Gallagher picked up the volume of punches with one landing low halfway through the round giving Jenkins a minute rest. In the eighth round Jenkins suffered another cut this time over his right eye by a Gallagher left hook. He kept Gallagher at bay the rest of the round with his jab.
In the ninth round a Gallagher right re-opened the cut over the right eye. Midway through the round referee Howard Foster called in the ring physician who halted the fight. It was announced accidental head butts caused the cut so they went to the scorecards with all three scoring it 86-85 Jenkins as did this writer.
Middleweight Luke Keeler, 17-2-1 (5), 161 ¼, of Dublin, Ireland, defeated former USBA champion Luis Arias, 18-2-1 (9), 161 1/2, of Boca Raton, FL, over 10 rounds.
Referee Steve Gray scored it 96-91 for Keeler.
Arias was down in rounds one and nine. Keeler was deducted a point in the fifth for hitting behind the head. Arias was deducted a point in round eight for hitting on the break.
In the Main Event Featherweight 2016 Olympian and WBO Inter-Continental champion Michael Conlan, 12-0 (7), 125 1/2, of Belfast, No. Ireland, easily stopped Diego “El Profeta” Alberto Ruiz, 21-3 (10), 124 ¾, of Las Talitas, Tucuman, Argentina, at 1:34 of the ninth round for the vacant WBA Inter-continental and WBO Inter-Continental titles.
In the first round it was all Conlan landing punches as he stalked Ruiz who was on the defense. In the second round turning southpaw Conlan drove Ruiz into the ropes inside the final minute with a right hook on the chin.
In the third round Conlan’s footwork and hand speed continue to dominate his reluctant opponent Ruiz. In the fourth round Conlan returned to orthodox. Ruiz was hit low and given a short rest. Conlan dominate again.
In the fifth round Conlan switched back and forth from orthodox to southpaw and back. He continues to outwork Ruiz. In the sixth round the father-trainer of Ruiz came up the corner steps waving a towel due to Conlan hitting Ruiz who turned to his back getting hit behind the back and head but referee Michael Alexander made both continue fighting. Ruiz had been landing less than a half a dozen punches per round.
In the seventh round Conlan continues his fast jabs and rights to the body of Ruiz. Ruiz continued back up with hands held high hardly throwing more than several jabs or missing rights. Ruiz didn’t give the fans much to cheer about being so defensive. In the eighth round the pattern continued until the last twenty seconds when a right hook from Conlan landed on the chin of Ruiz following with a flurry of punches until the bell.
In the ninth round near the halfway mark a right hook from Conlan to the body of Ruiz dropped him for the 8 count. He got up but the referee realized Ruiz didn’t want to continue and his corner was also calling a halt.
“I want to give a big thank you for everyone who showed up. He thanked promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank,” said Conlan. He answered when questioned he wants to fight any of the champions.
Two-time Olympian bantamweight Paddy “Leprechaun” Barnes, 6-2-1 (1), of Belfast, No. Ireland, UK, defeated Joel Sanchez, 4-7-1 (2), of Nicaragua and Spain over 6 rounds.