‘I faced him twice I beat him twice’ – Nikitin won’t acknowledge Rio robbery

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As far as Vladimir Nikitin is concerned he holds two legitimate wins over Michael Conlan.

The history books show the Russian is 2-0 to the good against the Belfast fighter.

Nikitin scored a legitimate win over his fellow TopRank fighter in a World Championships were Conlan moved up in weight. His second win over the then World amateur champion came in Rio 2016 at the Olympic quarter final qualifying stage.

However, any record books should have a massive asterisk beside the recording of that victory over the Adam Booth trained puncher.

Conlan beat up the Russian to such a degree that he couldn’t compete in the semi final and was the victim of one of the most famous Olympic injustices of all time.

However, leading into their pro rematch, which plays out in Madison Square Garden on a massive ESPN broadcast card this Saturday night, Nikitin isn’t keen to admit any previous defeats.

“I faced him twice and I beat him twice,” he said defiantly.

“I don’t think anything about that fight [Rio] if he thinks something, he can think what he wants, my hand was raised two times,” said a bullish Nikitin.

I don’t have to prove anything to anybody. I won two bouts against him in the amateurs and this is another big step for me in my professional career.”

Nikitin also turned down the chance to admit this weekend’s ESPN broadcast clash was a bit opportunity in terms of his pro career.

“I have already fought at Madison Square Garden.

“My last fight was here, I have been in the arena and I’m taking the next step of my career on Saturday night. I prepare for every fight the same.

“I am ready for 10 rounds and we will see what’s going to happen in the ring. We will see what we both bring into the ring.”

dpg

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