Michael Conlan to make pro debut at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s Day
Belfast fighter will be walked to the ring in New York by Conor McGregor
Michael Conlan gives a press conference at Madison Square Garden to announce his professional debut on St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Emily Harney/Inpho
Former world amateur champion Michael Conlan will make his professional debut on St Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden in New York, with UFC star Conor McGregor set to walk the Belfast fighter into the ring at the famed venue.
Conlan will take on America’s Tim Ibarra (4-4, one knockout) in a six-round junior featherweight bout.
“I’m honoured and privileged to make my professional boxing debut in the Mecca of boxing that is Madison Square Garden, fighting in the world’s most famous arena in my professional debut on St Patrick’s Day,” said Conlan.
“It is something I never dreamed would be possible, but thanks to my team and Top Rank, it’s happening. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity and I hope to make St Paddy’s Day Weekend at The Garden an annual event. I have the hopes of a nation behind me and I can’t wait to go out and put on a performance for Ireland on St Patrick’s Day.”
Conlan’s trainer Manny Robles said: “I am looking forward to working with Michael. I believe the kid has a very bright future in boxing. Now that he will no longer be fighting for trophies, but instead for world titles he will be faced with greater responsibilities.
“He and I both are ready to take on this new challenge. It is an opportunity I feel humbled by . . . I am very excited for Michael making his debut at The Garden, and I hope others are as well. He is an incredible fighter who will put on an incredible fight. And as his coach I am ready to play my role in making sure he does not disappoint his fans, but instead proves to them that he is ready to take on the world.”