Featherweight prospect Michael Conlan will headline a Sunday night St. Patrick’s Day card from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater on March 17, facing Ruben Garcia Hernandez. The fights will stream on ESPN+.
Conlan (10-0, 6 KO) has made clear his desire to step up the competition, and is coming off of a Dec. 22 win in Manchester over Jason Cunningham. Hernandez (24-3-2, 10 KO) doesn’t really represent any big step, at least on paper, but realistically this is more a holiday showcase fight where Top Rank hopes to sell some tickets in New York and keep Conlan active. Bigger fights will come, probably by the end of this year. You may remember Hernandez from losses to Nonito Donaire and Randy Caballero.
The co-feature is the more interesting fight for most of us, as former super bantamweight titleholder Jessie Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KO) will move up to featherweight to face former title challenger Christopher Diaz (24-1, 16 KO). This is a nice matchup for both, risky and worthwhile. A win keeps or puts someone in contention, and a loss is a huge setback.
Magdaleno is coming off of a defeat to Isaac Dogboe in a Fight of the Year contender last April, and Diaz lost to Masayuki Ito in July before bouncing back with a tune-up win over David Berna in November.