St. Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden has always been Michael Conlan’s boxing home away from home and the Irish featherweight continued his unbeaten run in the pros with another win.
In a special attraction bout that was streamed on ESPN+, Conlan retained his WBO Intercontinental featherweight title with a unanimous decision win against Ruben Garcia Hernandez. Conlan won every round on all three judges’ scorecards, winning with identical scores of 100-90.
This was Conlan’s third pro fight at Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick’s Day. Conlan made his pro debut on this day in 2017 with a TKO win over Tim Ibarra and then stopped David Berna in less than two complete rounds last year. Conlan won the WBO Intercontinental title last December with a win over Jason Cunningham.
In the advertised main event, Luis Collazo scored a split decision victory over Samuel Vargas to extend his win streak to three fights. The win keeps Collazo’s hopes for another title reign alive as he entered the fight ranked in the WBA’s top 10 at welterweight. Collazo previously held the WBA welterweight title from 2005 to 2006 and last challenged for the title in 2015 when he lost to current champion Keith Thurman.
In the opening bout of the main card, former world title challenger and Olympic medalist Paddy Barnes suffered his second straight loss, this time at the hands of Oscar Mojica. Mojica won the fight by split decision thanks to aggressive punching that caused Barnes' nose to bleed since the first round. Mojica also scored several vicious body shots throughout the fight to hurt Barnes, nearly dropping him on a number of occasions. After the fight, Barnes hinted at a possible retirement after now dropping his record to 5-2.