Michael Conlan returns to the boxing ring on St. Patrick’s day.

One of Ireland’s  top prospects and decorated amateur boxer takes on the well-travelled Ruben Garcia Hernandez in the main event of a Top Rank card at the Madison Square Garden on March 17th.

On the undercard, Irish Paddy Barnes returns after a seven-month hiatus. Also fighting on the event is former welterweight world champion Luis Collazo who will take on Samuel Vargas.

“Fighting" Michael Conlan vs Ruben Garcia Hernandez

Michael Conlan is 5-8 tall southpaw who has a reach of 69 inches. The 27 year old from Belfast, Northern Ireland has an unbeaten record of 10-0 with six knockouts. Conland represented England in the 2012 Olympics and won the bronze medal in the bantamweight division. He won gold at the 2015 World Championships and was a favorite in the 2016 Olympics when he dropped a controversial decision to Russian Vladimir Nikitin. Conland gained notoriety after protesting the loss by raising his middle finger inside the ring.

After the 2016 Olympics, Conlan turned pro and signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing. He debuted on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017. Conlan has faced low to mediocre competition so far and in his last bout, he won the vacant WBO inter-continental featherweight title with a unanimous decision win over former Commonwealth bantamweight champion Jason Cunningham.

Michael Conlan vs Ruben Garcia Hernandez Odds

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from bet365 as of 3/08/19

Hernandez is 24-3-2 with 10 knockouts. The battle-tested Mexican is a durable foe who has been knocked out only once in his professional boxing career. In 2017, Hernandez took four-division champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire to the 10-round distance when he fought for the vacant WBC Silver Featherweight championship. In his last bout, Hernandez figured in a draw with Marlembron Acuna last December 21, 2018.

The 25 year old from Mexico City measures at 5-7 with an undisclosed reach and fights out of the orthodox stance. Since losing to Donaire, Hernandez has fought thrice with two wins and one draw during that period. Before losing to Donaire, Hernandez also lost to former bantamweight champion Randy Caballero in 2016 and then won seven fights in a row.

“Fighting" Who Wins?

Michael Conlan has looked very good so far. He’s unbeaten in 10 bouts with six knockouts. His amateur career didn’t end the way it was supposed to be but he had one impressive amateur career. In the pros, he’s adjusted very quickly and is learning very fast and at the rate he is going, he may be targeting bigger fights this year. But personally, I think he needs a year at least to be ready for the likes of Leo Santa Cruz or Gary Russell Jr. Conlan has great defense for a guy with limited experience. He is also a smart fighter who can give opponents different punching angles. He looks big for his weight class and he uses his size to his advantage.

There aren’t too many footages of Hernandez but based on the Donaire bout, he is a very durable fighter as despite Donaire’s vaunted left hook landing on him clean a couple of times, he never went down. Hernandez also showed some aggressiveness and when he got his offense going, he showed a strong straight shot and accurate left hooks. He has a tendency to brawl and has the chin to do so. His defense was suspect, however.

Against Conlan, Hernandez should be target practice if anything. He isn’t a step up in level of opposition for the Belfast native but is an experienced and durable fighter who should test Conlan’s patience and power. I think Top Rank picked the right opponent for their man as Hernandez should be right there for Conlan to stop.

I’m picking Michael Conlan to beat Ruben Garcia Hernandez by knockout.

Place Your Bet Here

“Fighting" Paddy Barnes vs Oscar Mojica

Paddy Barnes is the former Olympian who represented Ireland in three consecutive Olympics from 2008-2016 and who won back to back bronze medals in the light-flyweight division in 2008 and 2012. The 31 year old from Belfast, Northern Ireland has a record of  5-1 with one knockout. Barnes stands 5-4 and has a reach of 64.5 inches while fighting as an orthodox fighter. In his last bout, Barnes challenged Cristofer Rosales for the WBC flyweight title and was knocked out in Round 4.

Paddy Barnes vs Oscar Mojica Odds

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from bet365 as of 3/08/19

The 26-year old Mojica turned pro in 2013 and has compiled a record of 11-5-1 with one knockout. The fighter from Dallas, Texas is listed at 5-7 tall with an undisclosed reach. Mojica is just 2-4-1 in his last seven bouts. He has no won a bout since October 2017 and is coming off a split draw against Ruben Vega last December 2018. Mojica is a decent fighter who throws a lot of punches but doesn’t have the punching power to knock out his opponents. The problem with him is that he squares off a lot and because of that, he is almost always there to hit.

Mojica is a step-down in opponent for Barnes after fighting Rosales. Barnes isn’t a power puncher too but is without question the better boxer between the two. I like Barnes to pop Mojica with his jabs and then connect his combinations on the American. Mojica should be tough, if he is what is advertised. This fight is going the distance with the more equipped fighter winning on points.

I’m picking Paddy Barnes to beat Oscar Mojica on points.

Place Your Bet Here

“Fighting" Luis Collazo vs Samuel Vargas

Collazo is already 37 years of age. The former world champion has a record of 38-7 with 20 knockouts. He stands 5-9 with a reach of 72 inches while fighting as a southpaw. The Brooklyn native is 3-2 in his last five bouts. After losing to Amir Khan and Keith Thurman during a three fight stretch from 2014-15, we though Collazo was done but he came back to beat young prospects Sammy Vasquez Jr. and Bryant Perrella in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Luis Collazo vs Samuel Vargas Odds

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from bet365 as of 3/08/19

The 29 year old Vargas has a professional boxing record of 30-4-2 with 14 wins by knockout. The Colombian-born Canadian is 5-8 with a 72-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Although he has not won a world title, he’s traded blows with some of the best fighters in the business. Vargas has losses to Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia and most recently Amir Khan. Vargas has decent pop in his punches and he does a good job throwing heavy punches when he gets the opportunity. Overall, he’s a decent fighter with okay potential but you have to ask whether he is capable of winning on the big stage.

Collazo likes to take the lead and dictate the pace of his fights. Despite his age, Collazo still shows some aggressiveness and pop in his punches. Three out of his last four wins were by knockout. The concern with Collazo is that he fades late in his fights. Vargas is younger and more durable but he doesn’t have the power to knock Collazo out nor does he have the ability to outbox him. I’m taking chances with Collazo’s age here but I’d risk my bet on his age rather than Vargas’ skill.

I’m picking Luis Collazo to win on points.

Place Your Bet Here

“Fighting" Upcoming Fight Predictions and Picks

March 15 – Tevin Farmer vs Jono Carroll

March 16 – Errol Spence vs Mikey Garcia

March 23 – Charlie Edwards vs Angel Moreno

March 24 – Lamont Peterson vs Sergey Lipinets

March 30 – Liam Smith vs Sam Eggington

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *