Jamie Conlan's first shot at a world title last night ended in defeat, ambition pulverised by the powerful punching of Filipino champion Jerwin Ancajas. Conlan, as always, fought bravely in Belfast, but was ultimately stopped in the sixth-round having shipped too much damage. Conlan hit the canvas in the opening round, and it went further awry from there: cut in the second round, dropped in rounds three and four...when Conlan's knees kissed canvas for a fourth time in round six, the referee intervened. The fact the fight lasted that long is a testament to Conlan's tenacity and bravery, partly propelled by the 9,000-strong Belfast crowd.
This was Conlan's first defeat in 20 fights, in what proved to be Ancajas' third successful title defence. Ancajas is promoted by Manny Pacquaio, and he will likely take a further stride into the big time with his next fight, likely to take place in the U.S.
Disappointment for Conlan, but it is perhaps tempered with the fact he was simply outclassed with the virtues Conlan has shown in previous victories no less evident in defeat.
Never been more proud of my brother, well done to Jerwin Ancajas, he’s a world class fighter and a great champion. Thank you to the Belfast fans amazing support tonight, proud to be from this city 💙 Head up bro alway be my idol love ya xx @JamieConlan11 pic.twitter.com/NShZGETN8U
— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) November 19, 2017
— Paddy Barnes OLY (@paddyb_ireland) November 19, 2017