SSE Arena, Belfast - In a crossroads fight at super featherweight, Jordan Gill (28-2-1, 9 KOs) may have ended the career of Olympian Micheal Conlan (18-3, 9 KOs) with a seventh round stoppage.
Conlan was coming off a knockout loss to IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez in May, while Gill was knocked out in four rounds last October by Kiko Martinez.
The bout was Conlan's first with new head trainer Pedro Diaz.
The bout began with Gill coming forward as Conlan was moving around the ring while using his jab and throwing quick counter shots. Both were having moments of success. Gill shook Conlan's legs with a hard right hand and dug often to the body. Conlan closed the round with body shots of his own.
In the second, Gill dropped Conlan hard with a left hand. Conlan fell hard on his back and got up on very unsteady legs. He was getting battered with punches and rocking around the ring. He managed to weather the storm and began to fire back, but got rocked again at the bell.
During the third, Conlan stayed on the backfoot and was jabbing well to set up other shots. Gill would rock Conlan with a series of heavy punches. Conlan was able to hold to get himself out of trouble. The fourth had Conlan unloading with a variety of punches to the head and body. Gill was mostly covering up and eventually responded with combinations of his own. Conlan was working his way back, while Gill was hunting for big shots to close the show.
In the fifth, Conlan was outworking Gill on the inside. There were some give and take comments. Conlan was working very well from the southpaw stance. The sixth saw Gill do better work with his heavy blows. He stunned Conlan more than once with hard lefts. Conlan came firing back with uppercuts to bloody the nose of Gill. At the end of the round, Conlan gave Gill an intentional elbow and was warned by the referee that he would be disqualified if it happened again.
At the start of the seventh, Gill rocked Conlan with a combination of hard punches. Conlan was being pounded against the ropes as the referee jumped in to wave off the fight.