Garden March: WBO Featherweight Champion Shakur Stevenson-Miguel Marriaga and WBO Inter-Continental ChampionMichael Conlan-Belmar Preciado Headline Separate Hulu Theater at MSG Shows March 14 and March 17
Shakur Stevenson, the 22-year-old phenom on the cusp of pound-for-pound greatness, will make the first defense of his WBO Featherweight world title Saturday, March 14, against three-time world title challenger Miguel “Escorpión” Marriaga at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Three days later, Irish featherweight Michael “Mick” Conlan will make his annual St. Patrick’s Day pilgrimage at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a 10-rounder against hard-charging Colombian veteran Belmar Preciado.
The Stevenson-Marriaga co-feature will see former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno fight the unbeaten Sakaria Lukas in a 10-round featherweight showdown. Stevenson-Marriaga and Magdaleno-Lukas will be televised LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.
Conlan-Preciado and a 10-round female super featherweight showdown between the unbeaten Mikaela Mayer and former featherweight world champion Melissa Hernandez will stream live in English and Spanish on ESPN+ beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets for the Stevenson-Marriaga and Conlan-Preciado cards are priced at $200, $100, $70, $40 and $30 (not including applicable fees) and go on sale Friday, Feb. 7 at 12 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.
For a limited time, when purchasing a ticket online to one of these cards, you will then be given the option to purchase discounted tickets to the other event.
“What a great two nights of boxing on ESPN and ESPN+, as we get to see Shakur Stevenson defend his title against the big-punching Marriaga and Mick Conlan continue one of boxing’s great traditions,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “New York is going to turn out in force to watch two of boxing’s great young stars.”
Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs), the pride of “Brick City”, Newark, N.J., was the first male boxer from the 2016 Rio Olympics to win a professional world title. Last October, he bested Joet Gonzalez via unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO featherweight world title. The Gonzalez win punctuated a banner year for the Olympic silver medalist, who also defeated former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz on the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan PPV undercard. Last July, he headlined an ESPN telecast in front of an adoring hometown crowd of more than 5,000 at Prudential Center, knocking out Alberto Guevara in three rounds.
“We’ve been trying to make this fight with Miguel Marriaga for a long time now,” Stevenson said. “I wanted a strong opponent for my first title defense. He’s been in the ring with multiple world champions, and I am ready to prove that I am the best featherweight in the world. This is my fourth fight at Madison Square Garden, but my first as a world champion, and it will be my best performance yet. I know all of my East Coast fans will come out and support on March 14.”
Marriaga (29-3, 25 KOs), one of the division’s hardest punchers, is hoping the fourth time’s a charm. He fell short in previous world title challenges against Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez and Nicholas Walters, but he’s riding a four-bout winning streak (all by KO). He last fought in December 2019, knocking out Alfredo Mejia Vargas with a body shot. A native of Arjona, Colombia, he’s been scouting Stevenson as a potential foe.
“I always wanted this fight, and the time is right now that he’s a world champion,” Marriaga said. “He speaks often about how people are ducking him, but here I am. Colombia will have a new world champion March 14.”
WBO Inter-Continental Featherweight Champion Conlan (13-0, 7 KOs) has made Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden his professional home, as he turned pro in front of a sold-out St. Patrick’s Day crowd there back in 2017. In the years since, he has graduated from prospect to contender, as he’s the No. 1 contender for the title held by Stevenson. He went 3-0 in 2019, including a decision win in December over Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin. Preciado (20-2-1, 13 KOs) will be making his third ring appearance outside of his native Colombia, and he has won two in a row since a KO loss to former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa.
“I’m honored to return to the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, and fight for the fourth straight St. Patrick’s Day,” Conlan said. “I know how tough Preciado is, but this fight is a great test as I continue on my path towards becoming a world champion. Fighting in New York City is very special for me. The fans have been very supportive right from the beginning at my pro debut on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017, and I look forward to putting on another tremendous show for them this year.”
“The fans will be there to see Conlan, but mark my words, they will remember me,” Preciado said. “I am more than just another ‘opponent.’ When I win, I won’t be surprised. I am prepared for a hard 10 rounds.”
For more information, visit www.toprank.com, www.espn.com/boxing; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.