“His sole thing is to beat Mick and he believes he will’ – Jamie Conlan expects fired up Vladimir Nikitin

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Jamie Conlan believes a fired up Vladimir Nikitin [3-0] will bring the best out of his brother Michael Conlan this weekend.

Conlan [12(7)-0] takes on the Russian in a huge grudge match on a huge Top Rank, Madison Square Garden hosted card, live on ESPN.

Considering the Rio 2016 silver medal winner has just three points wins to his name since turning over, has some suggesting it’s a step back for Belfast fighter and a fight more about narrative than progression.

However, MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator, who helped negotiate the deal with Nikitin for both this and the proposed Feile fight, has seen first hand how passionate the Russian is about defeating his brother.

The world title challenger and former Commonwealth champion points out this is Nikitin’s world title fight and is sure we will witness his best performance on Saturday night.

“People are undermining Nikitin given the fact he hasn’t looked as good as Mick at this stage in his career, but we’re going to see the best version of Nikitin. This is like his world title fight,” said Conlan.

“This is what he’s turned professional for, his sole thing is to beat Mick and he believes he will.”

While he Jamie Conlan believes Nikitin will be at his best he is confident that will only bring out the best in his brother.

As a result he also predicts a career best display from the Top Rank fighter keen to progress from prospect to contender over the coming months.

“I’m very excited for this fight, and a win here then sets up a big year in 2020.”

“Mick has looked fantastic in camp with Kiko Martinez. I was there to see them sparring, and it was high quality and shows the level that Mick is at.

“Mick has done a lot of learning and building, and I’m really looking forward to a clinical performance. Nobody has seen the best of Mick yet, and the better the opponent the better we’ll see of him.”

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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 sport for a living for 19 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