Michael Conlan captures WBO Inter-Continental featherweight title
It was billed as the toughest test of Michael Conlan's career but the Belfast fighter passed it with flying colours.
Conlan has moved to a perfect 10-0 as a professional with a comprehensive victory over Jason Cunningham on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena, picking up the WBO Inter-Continental featherweight title in the process.
Conlan was heavily favoured to come out on top but Cunningham was not expected to roll over by any means, having previously held the commonwealth bantamweight championship.
For the first time in his career, Conlan went 10 rounds and he looked incredible throughout the fiercely-fought contest.
The London 2012 bronze medallist displayed stunning head movement and remarkable footwork as he switched between orthodox and southpaw with ease.
Conlan was warned for a pair of low blows in round three but it did little to affect the Irishman's rhythm however after his shots continued to slip low in the sixth, a point was deducted.
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The deduction mattered little in the overall scheme of things as the judges scored the bout 97-92, 97-92 and 98-92 in Conlan's favour.
There could have been few complaints from Cunningham's corner if the fight was stopped in the 10th and final round as the veteran looked out on his feet following a brutal combination from Conlan but he survived to hear the final bell.
An embrace of respect followed and Conlan could well target a world title fight in the next year or two if he continues at his current rate.