Michael Conlan ‘needs’ to get an official win over old amateur rival Vladimir Nikitin

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Michael Conlan [12(7)-0] wants an official win over Vladimir Nikitin [3-0].

The Belfast world title hopeful destroyed the Russian in an infamous Rio Olympic quarter-final.

However, Conlan was robbed of a deserved victory and his gold medal dream by poor and maybe even influenced judging.

The injustice was clear for everyone to see and Conlan’s defiant reaction was seen and heard around the world.

Yet still the Top Rank fighter notes the history books will remember Nikitin as the victor and in time the ‘robbery’ asterisk may disappear, so he wants to grab his chance to get an official win over his rival this weekend.

Conlan finally gets the fight he has craved for years when he takes on former amateur at Madison Square Garden in New York City, live on ESPN.

Fight week has already got underway, with Conlan taking part in his public workout on Tuesday evening, and he has revealed just how clinical he plans on being.

 “It’s nothing personal with Vladimir and I, but I have a job to do on Saturday night, and it’s going to be a demolition job,” said Conlan who turned 28 last month.

“This fight is a long time coming. We were supposed to fight in August, but Vladimir got injured. I’m excited. We’re ready to rock, and the fans in New York can expect a big performance.”

“Listen, regardless of what I think about the amateur judges, I have never officially beaten him. I need to go out there and get my hand raised. I want to right the wrong of what happened in Rio.”

Conlan is looking to end 2019 in style, after a stoppage win over Diego Alberto Ruiz at a sold out Falls Park in Belfast in August, along with a dominant victory over Ruben Garcia Hernandez at Paddy’s Day in March.


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