Michael Conlan impresses on professional debut

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Michael Conlan savours superb professional debut win in New York

Belfast boxer Michael Conlan made an impressive professional debut as he stopped Tim Ibarra inside three rounds at Madison Square Garden.

The super-bantamweight forced referee Benjy Esteves Jr to step in when a powerful right hand had his American opponent on the ropes.

Conlan had been joined on his walk to the ring by UFC fighter Conor McGregor.

More than 5,000 Irish fans were at the famous New York venue to cheer on the highly-rated 25-year-old.

Conlan, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, was moving on from the disappointment of failing to win a medal at last year's Rio Games where he insisted he had been cheated by some poor scoring.

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After his dream debut in the paid ranks, Conlan was clearly delighted with the show he put on.

"There was pressure and the thing I was most worried about was my performance," said the former world amateur champion.

"At times it showed because I was a bit reckless and was not timing my shots. I was just looking for the knockout.

"I am grateful to all the fans who travelled here. I have never experienced anything like that atmosphere in my life.

"To have that on my debut - I do not think it will ever be beaten."

Michael Conlan was cheered on by 5,000 fans in New York
Michael Conlan was cheered on by 5,000 fans in New York
UFC champion Conor McGregor
UFC champion Conor McGregor accompanied Conlan for the pre-fight walk to the ring

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