New York, NY – Boxing is not over by a long shot in New York and for two consecutive nights Madison Square Garden was reclaiming their name as the “Mecca” again.
In the adjacent theater Friday it was an Irish Olympian making his pro debut for Top Rank and the main arena Saturday night Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin were set to unify the middleweight championship for another promoter.
This has never occurred in the annals of the Garden and their history with the sport. The Theater and main arena, and available, were booked months ago for the double night of championship boxing. Top Rank and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum got the ball started on the night of St. Patrick’s Day and debuted their Olympian Michael Conlan from Ireland with his pro debut.
Conlan, a featherweight has the marketability to be their next superstar fighting in the Garden. Miguel Cotto established himself as four-time champion from Puerto Rico and sold out the main arena numerous times on the eve of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
So why not do it again, and this time with an upcoming 25-year old star from Ireland? Conlan can punch and came with some controversy after giving the two thumbs of disapproval when he was robbed of a medal last year at the Rio Summer Olympics. It developed some controversy and Conlan was on the map.
So at a sold out Theater Friday night, and before a sold out crowd of 5,101, Conlan made his debut and easily finished off his opponent Tim Ibarra in the third round. Similar to Cotto, he made the successful pro debut and at ringside was UFC superstar Conor McGregor who accompanied him to the ring.
But Cotto had that same popularity over the years and McGregor, an invite from Top Rank stole the show. You see, there is this fight in the works and McGregor is looking to show that he is boxing and not Floyd Mayweather Jr. The two have been in talks and reportedly a mega fight will take place b the end of this year.