Michael Conlan reacted to his first professional boxing loss by scoring three knockdowns en route to a dominant points victory over Miguel Marriaga on Saturday.

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Conlan (17-1, 8 KOs) of Belfast, Northern Ireland revived his world title hopes by unanimous decision (99-88, 98-88, 99-89) over experienced Colombian Marriaga in a 10-round non-title contest .

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Conlan, 30, was knocked out (and left the ring) by WBA ‘regular’ champion Lee Wood in the last round five months ago but got his career back on track with this confidence-inspiring victory in front of his home fans at Belfast’s SSE Arena.

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“I got rid of a lot of demons in the last round,” Conlan said.

“I had to be careful and use my punches. I was caught in the last round, the fact that I passed, it says a lot, and I returned. I want Lee Wood, but I know every other champion that I face. I will beat them.”

Marriaga (30-6, 26 KOs) lost two fights in a row, but was upset by knockdowns and insisted that he slipped. However, Marriaga was losing from start to finish and Conlan was impressive, especially in the later rounds.

Conlan boxed carefully and patiently behind his jab until he opened up more in the second half of the fight and landed some good backhands in the sixth round.

The Belfast boxer hit his punches well again in the seventh round and got Marriaga spinning on the canvas with a left hook after the Colombian lost his footing.

Marriaga, 35, complained about getting the bill, insisting he slipped but lost again by a round later in round eight. Conlan pulled off a sharp combo that caused Marriaga to drop to his knee after his leg buckled.

Conlan got another knockdown in the ninth round when Marriaga was subdued.

Conlan may have to wait if he wants a rematch with England’s Wood, who is fighting Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz, who holds the full WBA featherweight title.