Vladimir Nikitin [3(0)-0] is OUT of his big fight with Mick Conlan in Belfast on Saturday August 3rd.
The Russian featherweight was due to rematch Belfast’s Conlan [11(6)-0] at the Falls Park as part of the Féile an Phobail in a rematch of their controversial Rio Olympic clash.
However, not long after prominent U.S. boxing journalist Mike Coppinger has revealed that sources have informed him that Nikitin is out with an unspecified injury ESPN’s Dan Rafael confirmed the Russian won’t populate the top of the bill clash.
Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti confirmed to ESPN that reports of the Russian’s withdrawal were true.
Torn biceps forced the Top Rank fighter to withdraw from the eagerly anticipated clash.
Moretti said that Nikitin’s manager, Egis Klimas, notified Top Rank on Wednesday night about the injury and confirmed his charge will be out for ‘quite sometime’.
“He called us and told us that Nikitin is headed back to Russia for surgery,” Moretti said. “We are searching for a new opponent for Conlan.”
“We’re not even going to think about rescheduling the fight right now. It’s too severe of an injury. And when he does come back we’d probably have to give him another fight first before he could be ready to fight Conlan. It’s a disappointment.”
Nikitin was the ideal opponent for the event. While there may have been better fighters to face in terms of progressing toward a world title, the Rio Revenge element was the perfect narrative for a big Conlan homecoming.
It’s another blow for the card quickly following news that Sam Boden pulled out of a scheduled British title fight with Anthony Cacace.
However, the show will go on and a replacement will be sourced soon. Tickets have are said to already be hard to come by and MTK have been working on putting in place a strong undercard.
News of a possible clash between Luke Keeler and Gabe Rosado certainly excited fight fans, while the card, which will be shown live on BT Sport and ESPN+, features undercard support from Sean McComb, Alfredo Meli in a clash with an Olympian, Paddy Barnes, Dee Sullivan, Sean Duffy, Padraig McCrory, and Callum Bradley.
It could be suggested that with a small degree of pressure to restore serious gloss to the card any of those unmatched undercard fighters may be handed exciting step up fights.