Conlan and Booth ‘shocked’ by the scoring as world title hopeful edges past Irish Slayer

Adam Booth was delighted with Michael Conlan’s performance against the ever-game Ionut Baluta in London last night but was anything but content with how the fight was scored.

In his first contest at super bantamweight, the Belfast talent nudged past Ionut Baluta in what was an exhausting twelve-rounder at the York Hall.

The quanity came from the Romanian, who came into the clash on the back of two Irish wins, while the majority of the quality came from the former Irish amateur sensation.

It wasn’t an easy night for Conlan by any means but Booth, a former trainer of Irish world champions Andy Lee and Ryan Burnett, was delighted with how his fighter performed under pressure and that he was finally put under pressure by an opponent.

However, the experienced coach did feel the 114-114, 115-114, 117-112 scoring somewhat ruined what he felt should be a celebrated win.

“I think it was comfortably an eight (rounds to) four for Mick,” he said. “That concerns me a little bit. The scoring concerns me because we’ve got to do the right job, we can’t score missing punches, but in terms of Mick’s progression, I think that was great. It was a realistic 12 rounds where somebody didn’t want to lie down.

“All in all, I’m delighted with Mick because we knew it was going to be a bit awkward. I’m just a little disappointed he didn’t get the scores he deserved.”

Conlan himself admitted he was ‘very shocked’ when the card was readout. Speaking after his first fight at super bantamweight, The Olympic medal winner did admit Baluta was better than he thought but he still felt he won wider than two of the three judges did.

“He pulled out a few good performances, game as they come, but he was missing a ton of punches so I wasn’t overly worried. When they called out a draw, I started to worry like ‘what’s going on here?'” he said.

“I don’t think it was like that. I don’t even think it was like the second card. I don’t even know how it was that close. It was a good fight and good preparation for what’s to come. He worked. He held his engine more than I thought he would. It’s my first 12-rounder, my first fight at super bantamweight so the perfect fight for where I’m at.”

Scoring as with every fight is subjective. Most seemed to have it close but with Conlan winning. The bottom line is, a fighter the Top Rank star felt he would stop was competitive throughout – and the Belfast favourite believes improvements will have to be made regardless if he is to win a world title.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com

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