Michael Conlan was the hometown hero in Belfast last night as he moved to 12-0 with a ninth round stoppage of Diego Alberto Ruiz.
Conlan was originally scheduled to fight his 2016 Olympic opponent Vladimir Nkitin in his homecoming but the Russian fighter pulled out only to be replaced by Ruiz.
It was a solid performance from the 27-year old against the tricky Argentine as both men took the opening few rounds to find their feet at the Falls Park.
The former Olympian eventually settled and wore his opponent down in a very strong ninth round before ending the fight with a series of beatiful body shots as he extended his record as a pro to 12-0.
The victory also meant that Conlan picked up the WBA Inter-Continental belt to add to the WBO equivalent which he had already held.
Speaking after the win at Féile an Phobail, Conlan told Top Rank USA that he was nervous ahead of the bout but outlined his pleasure at being able to give the hometown fans a finish.
The Conlan Revolution continues in Belfast! ☘️
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) August 3, 2019
“Before, I was nervous, I didn’t know what to expect.
“When I got on to that stage, I was like, ‘I’m home’.
“I’m more proud that I got the finish for [the supporters]. I can box people all day and it’s boring for people.
“It is boring for people when I am using skill so much. To get the finish made the day extra special.”
Conlan’s teammate Paddy Barnes also picked up a victory, defeating Joel Sanchez via decision.