“When one of us goes to war, we all go to war.”
So said one Conor McGregor and last night in New York he made good on that promise, escorting Michael Conlan to the Madison Square Garden ring for his professional debut.
American Tim Ibarra was stopped less than a minute into the third round of the six-round junior featherweight bout, unable to cope with a barrage of punches from the 25-year-old 2012 Olympic bronze medallist.
Eager to make his mark, Conlan began the fight looking for a big knockout punch, but he was not finding his mark. As he settled into the fight he began to work Ibarra’s body and, switching between southpaw and orthodox, Conlan was soon picking off the Colorado native at will.
Ibarra had a record of 4-4 before last night and Belfast man Conlan was not altogether satisfied with his professional bow.
“I don’t think I performed too well, but I still got the stoppage,” he said afterwards.
“I had a lot of nerves, it was only my professional debut, but I think I handled the pressure well enough for a debut fight,” said the Top Rank fighter.
His nerves may have been ramped up by his spine-tingling entrance to the ring. Wearing a giant green hat on St Patrick’s Day and accompanied by a tricolour-draped Conor McGregor, the grand old MSG arena shook with a rendition of Olé Olé Olé.
Conlan coming in with Conor McGregor… pic.twitter.com/xwvARPNngu
— Carl Kinsella (@TVsCarlKinsella) March 18, 2017