Different Fights, Same Arena: Conlan, Stevenson Headline MSG
Bob Arum and Top Ranking Boxing are pulling out all the stops during the time of St. Patrick’s Day. Not only will Michael Conlan and the Conlan Revolution be invading New York City once again, but Shakur Stevenson will look to leave his mark.
It was announced that Conlan and Stevenson will be headlining two separate cards at the Hulu Theater inside New York’s Madison Square Garden. The 22-year-old Stevenson (13-0) will be defending his newly-won WBO Featherweight Title against Miguel Marriaga on Saturday, March 14 on ESPN. A few days later, Conlan (13-0) will ring in St. Patrick’s Day that Tuesday, March 17 on ESPN+. He will be facing off against Belmar Preciado.
“What a great two nights of boxing on ESPN and ESPN+, as we get to see Shakur Stevenson defend his title against the big-punching Marriaga and Mick Conlan continue one of boxing’s great traditions,” stated Arum. “New York is going to turn out in force to watch two of boxing’s great young stars.”
Looking to prove he truly is elite at such a young age, Stevenson has been facing heavy-hitters all over Top Rank’s system. The pride of “Brick City”, Newark, NJ, Stevenson won the vacant WBO belt against Joet Gonzalez via unanimous decision back in October. He became the first male fighter from the 2016 Olympics to win a world title.
He fights an experienced knockout artist in Marriaga (29-3), with 25 wins by way of the punch. Marriaga is currently on a four-fight win streak, last beating Alfredo Mejia Vargas via KO in December. This will be his fourth major shot at a world title, losing to Nicholas Walters (WBA Featherweight Title), Oscar Valdez (WBO featherweight title) and Vasyl Lomachenko (WBO Junior Lightweight Title).
“We’ve been trying to make this fight with Miguel Marriaga for a long time now,” Stevenson said. “I wanted a strong opponent for my first title defense. He’s been in the ring with multiple world champions, and I am ready to prove that I am the best featherweight in the world. This is my fourth fight at Madison Square Garden, but my first as a world champion, and it will be my best performance yet. I know all of my East Coast fans will come out and support on March 14.”
The co-main event of the Stevenson-Marriaga bout will be Jessie Magdaleno v. Sakaria Lukas. Magdaleno (27-1) is a former WBO Super Bantamweight Champion who is on a two-fight win streak.
This will be Conlan’s fourth fight inside the Hulu Theater on St. Patrick’s Day. He ended up beating Ruben Hernandez via unanimous decision back in 2019. Since then he has gone 2-0, his last time out being inside the main Garden, beating Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin via unanimous decision.
“I’m honored to return to the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, and fight for the fourth straight St. Patrick’s Day,” Conlan said. “I know how tough Preciado is, but this fight is a great test as I continue on my path towards becoming a world champion. Fighting in New York City is very special for me. The fans have been very supportive right from the beginning at my pro debut on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017, and I look forward to putting on another tremendous show for them this year.”
This will be Preciado’s (20-2-1) first time fighting inside the United States. The Colombian fighter is on a two-fight win streak, last beating Jose de Jesus Lopez via KO in December. He will look to make the most of his opportunity by making his mark in New York City.
Mikaela Mayer (12-0) will be stepping inside the Hulu Theater for the second time in her career, facing off against Melissa Hernandez. The current NABF Super Featherweight Champion, Mayer has successfully defended the title three times. Her last fight was a RTD-victory over Alejandra Soledad Zamora. Hernandez (23-7-3) is on a one-fight win streak, last beating Selina Barrios in April via unanimous decision. It is unknown if Mayer’s title is on the line.
The main two fights of Stevenson-Marriaga will begin at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. The top fights of Conlan-Preciado will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Tickets for both events go on sale Friday, February 7 and can be purchased at the MSG box office or Ticketmaster.com.