Olympic boxing medalists Stevenson, Conlan remain unbeaten
NEW YORK (AP) Former Olympic boxing medalists Shakur Stevenson and Michael Conlan remained unbeaten on the undercard of the Vasyl Lomachenko-Guillermo Rigondeaux match.
U.S. women’s Olympian Mikaela Mayer also was a winner Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Stevenson (4-0, 2 KOs) outclassed Oscar Mendoza (4-3) before referee Sparkle Lee stopped it midway through the second round. Fighting near his hometown of Newark, New Jersey, the southpaw landed sometimes three or four punches in rapid succession before Mendoza could get out of the way.
Stevenson, who won silver in the 2016 Olympics, sparred with Lomachenko during camp and the work against one of boxing’s best paid off for the 20-year-old featherweight.
”Everything was working for me tonight,” Stevenson said. ”Everything I threw was landing.”
Conlan (5-0) delighted the contingent of Irish flag-waving fans with a unanimous decision victory over Argentina’s Luis Molina (4-4-1), winning every round of the six-round bout in his first pro victory that didn’t come by stoppage.
Conlan peppered Molina with combinations to the body and left uppercuts to the chin in the arena where he made his professional debut last year on St. Patrick’s Day. Promoter Bob Arum also plans to have the 2012 bronze medalist from Belfast fight again next year on the March 17 holiday.
Mayer (3-0) had to the go the distance for the first time in her brief career, earning a majority decision over New Yorker Nydia Feliciano (9-9-3), winning all four rounds on two judges’ cards while another scored it a draw.
Mayer said after the fight she planned to tell promoter Top Rank she wanted to be done fighting four-round fights and push for six-rounders, believing she got stronger the longer fights went on.
Puerto Rico’s Christopher Diaz (22-0, 14 KOs) knocked down Bryant Cruz (18-3) four times before the fight was halted 37 seconds in the third round, claiming a vacant junior lightweight title and saying he could be Puerto Rico’s next boxing star in the wake of Miguel Cotto’s plans to retire following what he said was his final fight last weekend.
Also, heavyweight Bryant Jennings opened the preliminary bouts by improving to 21-2 with 12 KOs by stopping Donnie Haynesworth (13-2-1) in the second round.