Michael Conlan admits he feels somewhat sorry for August 3 foe Vladimir Nikitin.
The Russian, who was on the right side of possibly one of boxing’s most controversial ever decisions back in 2016, comes to Belfast to fight in front of a 8000 plus local crowd later this Summer.
The Belfast fighter is predicting a ‘horrendous’ reception for his fellow Top Rank foe and despite being adamant he wants to secure revenge in knock out fashion still holds sympathy for the 29 year old.
Knowing the vocal nature of his support the former world amateur #1 knows his next scheduled opponent won’t be welcomed to the ring at the Feile hosted fight night.
That does evoke some feelings of pity from Adam Booth trained fighter as does the fact that Nikitin wasn’t at fault for a result that has cast a shadow over his amateur career and Olympic success.
“He probably has bad feelings towards the decision too. He believes he won and I heard his team say they believe he won so that’s why they’re taking this fight,” Conlan said.
“He obviously feels very upset because his amateur career is remembered for his controversial decision over me so he probably wants to right a wrong he feels shouldn’t have been written for him.
“I feel sorry for him having to walk out into what’s going to be a cauldron. He’s a nice guy but he’s going to get a horrendous reception.
“This is all to be expected after what happened but I think he’ll be revelling in it too.”
Conlan claims the judges won’t be needed this time around.
“It’s time to get that victory back. I want to get him out of there. I don’t want it to go to points because I don’t want to leave anything to the judges this time,”