The Belfast fighter’s Olympic gold dream turned into a Rio nightmare when the Russian was astonishingly awarded victory in the pair’s quarter-final.
Conlan’s reaction to the result has since become a thing of Irish sporting legend – as has the fact Nikitin was in no state to fight in the semi final such was the beating he took.
Conlan, who fights Jason Cunningham on the Warrington-Frampton undercard in Manchester on December 22nd, has been handed a chance of revenge as the ‘Toxic’ Nikitin [2(0)-0] has joined him on the Top Rank books and the Irishman suggests he can’t look beyond getting his own back.
“I really want to face him and I don’t think I can focus on any other champions and fighters until I avenge this loss,” he told WorldBoxingNews before claiming it’s nothing personal.
“I have no ill-feeling towards Nikitin. But I have ill-feeling towards that result and the stain on my career. Even though it was a springboard into the professional game for me.”
“The defeat acted as a good platform for me, so that’s how I look at it. But the result will always be there in the history books.”
“It will always say that I lost in an Olympic quarterfinal to Vladimir Nikitin, it won’t say that it was a questionable decision, so that’s what I want to rewrite.”
The pair are certain to meet at some stage in 2019.
St Patrick’s Day in New York has been mentioned, but the current front-runner looks to be in Belfast in August – potential during the Féile an Phobail in the Falls Park.
Either way, Conlan promises that the judges won’t have a say this time around.
“It won’t go to the judges this time. I actually don’t believe it would last six rounds,” predicted the 27-year-old.