It’s March 17th and the Garden was abuzz with electricity. Fans are bouncing up and down chanting the football (soccer) anthem … Oléééé, Olé, Olé Olééé! in anticipation of the opening bell. Michael Conlan and David Berna square off at center ring as referee, Eddie Claudio gives the pre-fight instructions.
It’s Saint Paddy’s Day, so Michael Conlan has added support in Madison Square Garden. The two fighters bounce around the ring sparring and trading shots. Then, with a little over 20 seconds left in the first round, Conlan slings out a hard right jab that land stiffly, backing David Berna up. As Berna steps forward again to attack, he gets hit with a perfectly delivered uppercut to the body.
Berna’s body head is lowered slightly, body leaning forward which allows the connect solidly. Conlan’s elbow is lined up with his hip and there is a definitive snap to the punch and it lands like a twenty-pound sack of potatoes to Berna’s core. And he goes down on his face. He beats the count, but it is the beginning of the end.
Conlan immediately attacks the body again and puts David Berna down again in the first minute of round two. A few short seconds later, Claudio is throwing himself between the two pugilists to stop the fight.
Mick has smashed through another opponent. And it took less than 120 seconds. The amazing part is, Berna is no slouch. Stepping into the ring against Conlan he was 15-2 professionally with 14 knockouts.
So who’s next?
The Battle in Belfast
Conlan has stated that he is determined to match Carl Frampton’s achievements. He is determined to become a multi-weight world champion. And though Michael Conlan is slated to fight for the first time as a pro in Belfast on June 30th, his opponent is still unnamed.
Conlan has been busy. He’ll fight in at the end of June … but the answer to who’s next is Ibon Larrinaga. Michael Conlan will take on Larrinaga on May 12th in Madison Square Garden as an undercard fight to Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares.
You could call this fighting Larrinaga the equivalent of a layup. Lomenchenko is 5/1 to win by KO/TKO in the first four rounds and an astounding ⅛ or -800 to win the fight outright. But We still haven’t seen odds released on the Larrinaga vs. Conlan undercard bout.
We’ll have to pay attention to the best sports betting sites to check the odds as we move into the weekend.
Larrinaga vs. Conlan Matchup
Larrinaga is 10-1 so at a glance, it looks like a step up fight for Conlan. Unlike Conlan, Ibon Larrinaga does not have a lot of knockout power. Of his 11 professional fights and 50 rounds of experience, he only has two knockouts and his one defeat came by knockout.
At 27-years-old, Larrinaga is just one year older than Conlan. Both fighters come in at 5’8, but the difference maker is Conlan’s power. Of his six pro fights he has knocked out 5 of his opponents … making his rounds of experience on the shorter end.
Iban does have great ring awareness and has the advantage in this area over the Irish fighter. He can use all four corners and use his feet to manage space better. But it won’t be enough. Both offensively and defensively he is going to be outclassed.
I predict that Conlan ends up cutting Larrinaga off and walking him down. Once that happens it won’t last long. Ibon throws too many wide, looping punches that will be easily countered with Conlan’s crisp punching skills.
We will see another early knockout. Larrinaga will get counted out before the 4th or 5th round.