Michael Conlan extends unbeaten professional record to 10 fights

Michael Conlan dominated his 10-round contest against Jason Cunningham
Michael Conlan dominated his 10-round contest against Jason Cunningham

Belfast boxer Michael Conlan made it 10 wins from 10 professional fights by beating Jason Cunningham on points at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night.

Conlan was always on top against his plucky Yorkshire opponent and was awarded the victory on a unanimous decision to extend his unbeaten record.

Conlan, 27, produced an assured display and collected the vacant WBO Intercontinental Featherweight title.

Two judges scored the contest 97-92 and one the other awarded a 98-92 margin.

Michael Conlan 'moving in the right direction'

Conlan had a point deducted by referee Steve Gray for persistent low punches, having been previously warned on two occasions for landing blows below the belt.

The London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and 2015 World Championship gold medallist was made to work hard throughout the 10 rounds by his opponent.

Twenty-nine-year-old southpaw Cunningham survived a last-round onslaught while still managing to land some impressive punches of his own.

Conlan will hope to move into the world's top 10 in 2019, with another St Patrick's Day bout at New York's Madison Square Garden his likely next move.

Paddy Barnes tweeted to explain why his fight did not take place at the Manchester Arena
Paddy Barnes was in Carl Frampton's corner during the title fight

Barnes 'float' fails to take place

On a night in which all but one of the fights on the main card went the distance, Paddy Barnes' bout against Isaac Quaye did not take place.

The flyweight contest was designated as the 'float' by broadcaster BT Sport, which left the two fighters facing the prospect of getting into the ring after the main event had taken place.

Barnes, 31, had hoped to use the fight against Ghanaian Quaye as a springboard to another world title shot in 2019 after losing his bid for the WBC flyweight belt at Windsor Park in August.

The two-time Olympic bronze medallist was the victim of a brutal body shot from Cristofer Rosales in what was just his sixth professional fight.

The Belfast fighter is determined to restore his reputation and is planning to secure another two fights in early 2019 before launching another world title challenge.