Conlan’s Belfast Homecoming Ends with Win

It was a homecoming for Michael Conlan, competing in his home of Belfast for the first time as a pro and for the first time altogether since 2010. And it was a success.

Conlan, in a fight where he was in control, for the most part, secured a unanimous decision win over Adeilson Dos Santos.

“It was a bit daunting. I felt a wee bit nervous in there because it’s my first proper fight,” Conlan said. “He forced the pace a bit. He was smart. But I was happy with my performance and got the victory.”

After feeling each other out for the opening minute, dos Santos started to look for counter-punching opportunities and to work the body. Meanwhile, Conlan had to focus on going on the inside.

Once Conlan switched to southpaw stance late in the first, he began to take control of the fight. Dos Santos seemed frustrated and struggled with trying to land on the speedy Irish fighter, while Conlan stayed patient, kept his distance and waited for his moment.

Conlan’s speed continued to be too much in the fourth, and in the fifth, Conlan put his punches together and landed them with crisp accuracy. Even when he was forced into a corner, he rope-a-doped his way out.

Dos Santos finally got going in round six, getting in several good shots on Conlan, though Conlan still handled himself well on defense. Dos Santos finally got things going in the final three rounds, but it wasn’t enough.

The judges awarded the decision to Conlan, with all scoring the bout in his favor 79-73.

“Still have a lot to learn. I give [my performance] a 6 out of 10,” Conlan said. “I worked on some things where I thought were good in there and some things that were mistakes. But that’s part of the game, part of learning.”

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