This weekend Michael Conlan makes his return to the ring when he takes on Miguel Marriaga in a fight that will stream live on ESPN+. The fight will be Conlan’s first since getting knocked out by Leigh Wood in March in a fight he was performing well in — until he wasn’t.
Conlan tells ESPN that his knockout was much more a result of being heavily fatigued in the later rounds of the Wood fight than any actual damage done to him. And because Conlan says he doesn’t believe he took much punishment in that fight, despite the loss, he’s ready to get right back on the horse to get back in the win column, and will only be wiser from the experience.
“What I learned from that [Wood] fight is, don’t get drunk on your own success,” Conlan told ESPN. “I was doing more than I needed to do — I could have just boxed myself to victory in the last half of the fight. Although having said that, the scorecards were tight somehow [105-102, 104-103 and 104-103 in favor of Conlan at the time of the stoppage], I don’t understand that. But I took more from that loss than I would [have] from winning it. I made a lot of silly mistakes and I have rectified those with my trainer, Adam Booth.”
Conlan says he still wants a rematch against Wood himself in order to truly vindicate himself, but that Matchroom are looking to put Wood up against Leo Santa Cruz next.
“Of course I want the rematch. He won the lottery that night with that punch, and you could see it in his reaction,” Conlan said.
But before any rematch can come to pass, Conlan will first have to handle his business against the veteran Marriaga, who himself is coming off a loss when he dropped a unanimous decision to Eduardo Ramirez last December.