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Michael Conlan eyeing off world title fight after dispatching Diego Ruiz in nine

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Michael Conlan 12-0 (7) has moved closer to a world title shot with a ninth-round knockout of Diego Ruiz 21-3 (10) at Feile Marquee, Falls Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday night.

The WBO number five, WBA number six and IBF number 12 ranked featherweight is aiming for a shot at any one of the major world titleholders and would like to see the fight take place in Belfast.

“Who’s not to say we can’t do it here in the Feile next year. They can make it happen and get an extra 10,000 in here. We can get 20,000 in here. It would be unbelievable,” the 27-year-old said after the fight.

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“Any of them. With this crowd, I’ll fight anyone. This is only the start. I’ve got more levels to go and I believe I can beat any of them.”

Conlan fought a composed fight against Ruiz, controlling the distance and using his superior movement and sharper punches to frustrate his opponent.

Fighting out of a southpaw stance in round nine, Conlan connected with a right hand to the body that sunk Ruiz to the canvas. The Argentinean beat the count but the follow up salvo from Conlan was enough to force referee Michael Alexander to step in and stop the contest at the 1:34 mark.

“I know I am not the biggest puncher in the world but I have enough to make people respect me,” Conlan said. “I know I can beat anybody when I box but I know people get bored of that.

“I maybe should do it all the time because the less damage you take in the ring the more life you get in boxing, but I know these fans wanted the finish and I’m happy I gave the fans that.”

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