Michael “Irish” Conlan, previously celebrated as the WBA interim World Featherweight champ, faced a significant challenge against Jordan ‘The Thrill’ Gill, the ex-EBU Featherweight titleholder. This clash was for the WBA International Featherweight title and was the centerpiece of an Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing) event, broadcasted live on DAZN.
The main event was a rollercoaster of tactics and power. Conlan, with a record of 18-3 and known for his dynamic style, found himself up against Gill’s formidable 28-2-1 record. The fight, scheduled for 12 rounds, reached a climax at 1:09 of the seventh round. Gill’s power was evident from the get-go, overpowering the busier Conlan. A crucial moment came in the second round when Gill’s right-left combo sent Conlan to the mat, earning him an 8-count from referee Howard Foster.
Conlan showed resilience, switching to orthodox style in the third round and managing to outwork Gill in the fourth, much to the crowd’s excitement. However, Gill’s relentless pressure and power, including a lead right in the fifth round that shook Conlan, maintained his dominance. The sixth round saw a bit of controversy with a low blow from Gill, but Conlan kept his composure and continued to land solid shots.
The seventh round was where the drama peaked. Gill cornered Conlan, unleashing a series of punches that led referee Foster to stop the fight, a decision that sparked debate among the fans.
In the co-feature, Tyrone ‘The Mighty Celt’ McKenna, a southpaw with a respectable record of 23-4-1, faced off against Lewis ‘The Croc’ Crocker, the former WBO European champion. This fight was a tactical battle over ten rounds for the WBA Continental Euro championship. McKenna, making a comeback after 16 months, struggled against Crocker’s more powerful and assertive style. Despite McKenna’s spirited performance, Crocker’s relentless body shots and heavier blows, especially in the later rounds, clearly tipped the scales in his favor.
McKenna showed moments of promise, especially in the early rounds, but Crocker’s consistent pressure and power were too much. By the eighth round, McKenna’s fatigue was evident, and Crocker’s powerful strikes continued to land. The final round saw Crocker dominating, though McKenna’s resilience kept him standing until the end. Referee Howard Foster’s scorecards read 100-90, 98-92, and 99-91, all in favor of Crocker.