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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Tom Hogan/INPHO Conlan in action at MSG.
# quieter affair
Conlan's St Patrick's Day fight at Madison Square Garden to take place behind closed doors
The traditional sea of green will be absent this time around when the former Irish Olympic star fights at MSG on St Patrick’s Day.

MICHAEL CONLAN’S ANNUAL St Patrick’s Day outing will be a quieter affair in 2020 after his promotional company, Top Rank, confirmed spectators won’t be able to attend the event at Madison Square Garden due to coronavirus fears.

The Garden’s Hulu Theater is typically a sea of green for Conlan’s Paddy’s Day scraps, 5,000 fans consisting mostly of Irish emigrants and travelling support from this island wedged into the basement arena on New York’s Pennsylvania Plaza.

However, they will have to watch on ESPN or eir Sport next Tuesday after the headliner between former amateur world champion Conlan [13-0, 7KOs] and Colombia’s Belmar Preciado [20-2-1, 13KOs], as well as its undercard, were moved behind closed doors.

Shakur Stevenson’s world-title defence at the same venue on Saturday will also take place without any fans in attendance.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and to ensure the health and safety of boxing fans and the fight participants, Top Rank announced today that the March 14 and March 17 events at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden will proceed without spectators,” said a statement from Conlan and Stevenson’s promoters.

“The only individuals granted access to the events will be essential production and support staff, in addition to fighters and necessary team members, and credentialed media. Both events will still be shown live on their respective ESPN platforms.

“As for future events, Top Rank is consulting with its venue partners and will make a determination in due course.

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“Full refunds for tickets purchased for the March 14 and March 17 events will be available at the point of purchase.”

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