Fans helped me come back, says Conlan

Boxing: Jamie Conlan admitted the fervent support of Irish fans almost brought tears to his eyes after his sensational “Rocky Balboa” like comeback at a sold-out National Stadium on Saturday night.

Fans helped me come back, says Conlan

The Belfast super-fly, elder brother of London 2012 bronze medallist Michael, looked to be heading for the first defeat of his career after being dropped twice by Junior Granados in the seventh round.

But he exploded from his corner at the start of the eighth and won the final three rounds to retain his WBO Inter-Continental belt on a unanimous decision (96-92, 95-93, 95-93) and edge closer to a mandatory shot.

“Tonight the fans sent shivers down my back,” Conlan said.

“I felt like crying in the ring because they were giving me an extra boost. I’m glad it’s over now.

“Tonight I proved I had balls and that nobody is going to come in here and beat me easily.”

Undefeated Ryan Burnett, a gold medal winner for Ireland at the 2010 Olympic Youths, improved to 10 wins after stopping Hungary’s Casba Kovacs on Saturday’s undercard.

Dublin super-lightweight Stephen Ormond also had an early night at the Stadium after dispatching Poland’s Jacek Wylezal inside two rounds.

Elsewhere on the “New Beginning” card, ex-Irish Elite champion Declan Geraghty, Anthony Fitzgerald, Sean Turner, Tommy Langford and Michael Rooney posted victories.

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