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‘Book your flights’- Conlan confirms Nikitin rematch


Michael Conlan [12(7)-0] will finally rematch Vladimir Nikitin [3-0] in America on December 14.

The Russian revenge mission is back on, as the Belfast fighter has agreed to fight his former amateur foe on a big Top Rank card, that includes Richard Commey versus Teofimo Lopez and pound for pound star Terence Crawford against Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

The World Championships gold medal winner was set to face the Russian, who was in the opposite corner when he was infamously cheated out of a place in the semi finals of the Rio Olympic Games, at the massive Feile an Phobail show in early August.

However, weeks before the proposed top of the bill clash for a 10,000 Falls Park sell out was due to take place Nikitin pulled out through injury.

conlan nikitin

Nikitin, who was signed by Top Rank with a Rio rematch in mind cited bicep injuries as the reason he wouldn’t be travelling to Belfast. Indeed, his team indicated he injured both biceps and did such damage he would be absent for the ring for sometime.

The news prompted everyone to accept that the rematch ship had sailed and the revenge mission was over. However, Conlan will get the chance to put the 29-year-old in his rear view mirror at Madison Square Garden  come Christmas time.

Irish-boxing.com understand the pair have signed to fight and the fighter himself all but confirmed as much on social media today.

It’s understood that the Adam Booth trained fighter had made his peace with the Russian and what happened at Rio after the Falls Park fight night.

Hungry to impress and progress the London 2012 medalist didn’t feel a 3-0 puncher was the ideal opponent for December in terms of helping him close in on a world title shot.

As a result he sought tougher tests with the likes of former world champion Issac Dogboe, but the London based Ghanaian declined – and liking the Nikitin narrative ESPN pushed for that fight to be remade.


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com