Michael Conlan-Ruben Garcia Hernandez set for St. Patrick’s Day in NYC, Magdaleno-Diaz supports

It has become an annual tradition for Michael Conlan to fight on St. Patrick’s Day in New York City.

This year, the unbeaten featherweight will face Ruben Garcia Hernandez on Mar. 17 inside The Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

The Conlan-Garcia fight will headline a Top Rank card that will stream on ESPN+, beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET/ noon PT. The fight card will begin following the conclusion of the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Conlan (10-0, 6 knockouts) made his pro debut to much fanfare two years ago at the same venue, where a crowd of over 5,100, including UFC star Conor McGregor, watched the 2016 Olympian defeat Tim Ibarra in the third round. One year later, Conlan battered David Berna, dropping him twice before the fight was stopped in the second round.

The 27-year-old Conlan is eager to fight before a large partisan crowd, one that will be eager to see another knockout win.

“I’m excited and honored to fight at my home away from home, the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden, on St. Patrick’s Day for the third consecutive year,” said the 27-year-old Conlan. “The fans in New York City have been incredibly supportive of my professional career, and I look forward to putting on a show for them, in addition to my great fans from Ireland who will be coming over for the party in Manhattan.”

“Thanks very much to my team and Top Rank for this tremendous opportunity. I’ll be well-prepared for victory to kick off a huge year for me in 2019.”

In his last bout on Dec. 22 in Manchester, Conlan won a 10-round unanimous decision over Jason Cunningham.

Garcia (24-3-2, 10 KOs), who is originally from Mexico City and now resides in Cancun, Mexico, is unbeaten in his last three fights since a unanimous decision loss to Nonito Donaire in September 2017.

In his last bout, also on Dec. 22, the 25-year-old Garcia fought to a majority draw against Marlembron Acuna in Suriname.

In the co-feature, former WBO junior featherweight titleholder Jessie Magdaleno will square off against former world title challenger Christopher Diaz over 10 rounds.

Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KOs), who resides in Las Vegas, has not fought since losing the WBO junior featherweight title to Isaac Dogboe on Apr. 28. The southpaw Magdaleno floored Dogboe, but was dropped himself in Round 5 and twice more in Round 11 before the bout was stopped.

Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs) fought in one of the more memorable bouts in 2018, losing a hard-fought unanimous decision to Masayuki Ito on July 28 in a bout for the vacant WBO junior lightweight title.

Diaz, who resides in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, returned to the ring on Nov. 24, knocking out David Berna in the opening round. For the Magdaleno bout he will be dropping down in weight from 130 pounds.

In welterweight action, Luis Collazo (38-7, 20 KOs) will face Samuel Vargas (30-4-2, 14 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Collazo grew up in the nearby borough of Brooklyn.

In preliminary action, former IBF junior featherweight titleholder Jonathan Guzman (23-1, 22 KOs) will square off against Mexico’s Mario Alberto Diaz (18-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-round bout.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October 2013. He can be reached by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing


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