Michael Conlan secures sixth pro win and eyes Belfast bout
The 26-year-old eased to a second round TKO victory over David Berna in New York
Michael Conlan and David Berna (black trunks) fight during their featherweights fight at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo: Abbie Parr/Getty Images
With his sixth professional fight safely put to bed, former amateur World Champion Michael Conlan hopes to have his next outing in his home town of Belfast.
Conlan continued his rise up the featherweight ranks in the early hours of Sunday morning with a second round TKO victory over David Berna at Madison Square Garden, the same venue he kicked off his professional career a year ago against Tim Ibarra.
Although Conlan agreed that the famous New York venue had become his home from home, he reiterated his desire to perform in his home town in a possible summer return.
“Yeah 100 per cent I want to fight in Belfast,” said Conlan in the ring afterwards. “There was talk about it being in June...I mean look at this crowd we’d sell out any arena in Ireland so we got to get back to Ireland.”
All of Conlan’s fights since turning professional after the disappointment of the Rio Olympic Games have taken place in the USA.
Once again the 26-year-old from the Falls Road switched between orthodox and southpaw to totally dominate the short time he spent in the ring.
Berna was kept at distance throughout by the Conlan jab, which was alternatively his left and right hand, a ploy he extensively used in his amateur days .
The Hungarian, who came into the fight with 15 wins from 17 fights and 14 of those knockouts, never once looked like troubling his opponent and inside the first round was sprawling to the canvas after an upwards arching and beautifully-timed left to the body.
Troubled by the blow Berna struggled manfully to his feet and managed to beat the count of the referee.
“I felt that shot was going to be a comfortable shot to land and the first one I threw.” said Conlan. “It put him down and looked like it sucked the life out of him.”
At the beginning of the second round, the 27-year-old came under further attack from the Irishman, who at that stage was entirely in control of the fight. A glancing left to the head after around 30 seconds sent a weakened Berna to the canvas for a second time. Again he took a count with the referee allowing it to continue.
But it was a short lived revival and Conlan immediately went to work pushing Berna around the ring and scoring at will.
Finally as Conlan rained in the punishment with his opponent against the ropes and unable to adequately defend himself, the referee rightly stepped in to finish a contest that was going only one way.
It was Conlan’s third fight in Madison Square garden and his first there with English trainer Adam Booth in his corner.
“It meant a lot to me. I wanted to come in here and put on a great performance, a better performance than last year which I felt I did,” said Conlan.
“I wanted to take this guy out. I wanted to show I’d improved since my first year as a professional fighter and I do believe I have, especially under my new coach.
“I feel we’ve only been together a little while but I think I’ve improved ton loads. I’ve got the experience and taking it in my stride now. When I turned pro I just wanted to take them out which is the wrong thing to do instead of breaking them down which now I feel I am doing.”
Conlan has now won five of his six wins by TKO with one, his last bout against Luis Fernando Molina at the same venue, a unanimous decision.