By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Michael Conlan’s faithful fans waited all night to watch him fight on St. Patrick’s Day again.
His first scheduled eight-round fight lasted all of four minutes.
Northern Ireland’s Conlan (6-0, 5 KOs) dropped Hungary’s David Berna (15-3, 14 KOs) twice, once apiece in the first and second rounds, before referee Eddie Claudio stopped their bout exactly one minute into the second round.
“I knew this was going to happen,” Conlan said. “He started committing, and I hit him and dropped him with a beautiful body shot in the first round. After that, I knew I was going to stop him.”
Conlan, a 2016 Olympian, knocked down Berna with a left uppercut to the body late in the first round. Berna slowly made it to his feet and moved away from Conlan long enough to make it to the end of the round.
An aggressive Conlan dropped him again with a shot to the top of his head early in the second round. Berna got up again, but Conlan unleashed a barrage of punches that made Claudio stop the bout with Berna still standing near a neutral corner.
Conlan’s victory technically was considered a walkout bout for a card that drew 4,672 fans to The Theater, just short of a sellout. It was the featured attraction, however, that kept thousands of prideful Irish fans in The Theater after Jose Ramirez out-pointed Amir Imam in what was billed as the main event of the eight-bout card.
The 26-year-old Conlan’s victory marked his second knockout victory at The Theater on St. Patrick’s Day. He knocked out Tim Ibarra in the third round of his pro debut at the same venue in 2017.
“It is a huge honor to be fighting in The Garden on St. Paddy’s day weekend,” Conlan said. “But it is something really special to be fighting on St. Paddy’s Day. Now I want to do it in Ireland. I mean, look at this crowd. We will sell out any stadium in Ireland.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.