Michael Conlan

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - AUGUST 06: Miguel Marriaga gets his hands wrapped before his featherweight fight with Michael Conlan, at The SSE Arena Belfast on August 06, 2022 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Conlan vs. Marriaga Aftermath: Michael Conlan Bounces Back

After being brutally knocked out in the 12th-round against Leigh Wood in his first bud at a world title, Michael Conlan bounced back last weekend with a 10-round decision over Miguel Marriaga. While Marriaga isn’t the most competent opponent, getting back in the ring was important for Conlan. And he did just that with three knockdowns and a decision win to get back on the horse. So today, we’re breaking down that fight in the latest edition of Aftermath!

Back To Basics With Michael Conlan

In his World Title fight against Leigh Wood earlier in the year, we were treated to a fight of the year candidate. Wood and Conlan battled through 11 rounds of pure bliss when it comes to boxing and the two were heading into the 12th. Going in to that final and fateful round, Conlan was up on the scorecards 104-103, 104-103, and 105-102. At the most, Wood would get a knockdown, a repeat from the 11th, and take the judges scorecard. But one could safely assume that Conlan would not get drawn into a firefight and take that chance.

But as the 12th went on, Conlan dipped to his left and Wood landed a perfect right that put Conlan falling through the ropes and out. Good night, Irene, Leigh Woods knocked out Mick Conlan.

In that fight, Michael Conlan was entertaining and put on a fantastic fight for the Nottingham and Irish fans that were in attendance. But there were some inefficiencies that we saw accumulate to give us our grand finale: that spectacular Leigh Wood knockout.

Conlan boxed for much of the fight but was far too often drug into a fire fight. It was this misuse of energy that led to Conlan being finished in such a spectacular fashion. He was tired, a bit slow, and it got him caught.

Against Miguel Marriaga, Conlan opted to put on a much more reserved, albeit better, performance. Marriaga brought a tough fight and came forward all night. But his purpose in this fight was to give Mick Conlan an opponent that will come forward and he can work out the nerves and flaws from being finished in his last fight.

In this fight, we saw other mechanics at work that helped Conlan save energy. Normally we see Michael Conlan switching stances and going from southpaw to orthodox and back. It’s the meta in boxing right now with Terence Crawford having perfected it. Against Marriaga, Conlan stayed southpaw this time. Switching stances requires some energy, but it’s not too substantial. But what it did show was Conlan’s commitment to staying safe with a gameplan and using his advantages as a southpaw to win a fight.

He did just that. Three knockdowns in the second half of the fight saw Conlan cruise to a victory. Conlan did a great job keeping the outside foot and the outside hand against Marriaga which is half the battle with a southpaw.

Now, I’d like to see Conlan take on a World Title fight again. Featherweight is a decent division and there are some fights to be made. My ideal fight for him is Emmanuel Navarrete. Navarrete is a firework of a fighter that puts on spectacles every time he fights. Relentless forward pressure and power can give Conlan trouble. But it’s Michael Conlan’s boxing pedigree that I favor in this fight. If he stays sound with his footwork, he can finally become a World Champion.


In addition to covering Olympic karate and kickboxing for My MMA News, Blaine Henry, the author, also analyzes fights from all combat sports across the globe. 

Blaine Henry can be found on Twitter, on his podcast, and Discord.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information