Mick Conlan happy to share spotlight with rivals Stevenson and Nikitin

Michael Conlan [8(5)-0] claims having former Olympic rivals Shakur Stevenson and Vladimir Nikitin as promotional stablemates ‘means everything’ to him.

Featherweights Conlan, the fighter he was controversially defeat by in the Rio Olympics, and the fighter he should have faced in the semi final of those games are all now boxing under the Top Rank label.

Some fighters may view it as a far from ideal scenario wanting the majority of promotional love to fall their way but the driven former Amateur World Champion sees it as a massive positive.

While there is an element of sharing the spotlight, Conlan, of course, is the top dog with Top Rank, pocketing a seven-figure signing on fee and already having headlined four cards under the banner.

The Falls Road switch-hitter has shown a real sense of razzmatazz in the pros and has also shown a real desire to fight both. Stressing the fact all three are under the same promotional banner makes itcertain they will eventually collide.

Nikitin, who was signed with the express purpose of being an opponent for Conlan, looks a possibility for a big show next year, with Belfast and the Féile an Phobail being spoken of as a potential venue – while a Stevenson scrap will marinate for years o ome.

Regardless, Conlan is grateful the pair are part of Bob Arum’s outfit

Speaking to Sporting News ahead of his Las Vegas bow tonight, where he shares the Murata-Brant undercard at the Mandalay Bay with Nikitin, Conlan noted how “the signing of those two means everything to me as they are the fights I want so bad in the next couple of years and they’re a lot easier to make if we are all under the same roof.”

“You’ve seen how long and hard it can be to make fights when promoters and television are involved, but here at Top Rank you’ve got to say that the fights that are going to make me a lot of money and mean the most to me at this stage are Stevenson and Nikitin.”

“I’m sure if you asked them, then they’d say the same thing, so the next year or two is going to see me involved in a lot of big fights and that’s exactly how I want it.”

While his stablemates are natural rivals and, as a result, big fights they certainly don’t represent everything for Conlan.

While he fields regular questions on the pair, the former amateur stand-out claims he is taking an introspective approach ahead of his eight rounder with Nicola Cipolletta.

READ: Nikitin comparisons not important for Conlan or Booth

The Adam Booth trained 26-year-old has massive ambitions, believes he has been handed the opportunity to tick off a glittering to do list, and will be gutted if he doesn’t take full advantage of his current standing.

“I want it all. From this moment on, I want to be the very best,” outlined Conlan.

“The idea for me now is to get all the big fights, all the world titles, make as much money as I possibly can and then get out with all my senses intact.”

“I’ve been given a big chance, one that almost every fighter alive would love, so if I can’t make this count then I’ll forever be angry at myself.”

“There’s doors opening for me all the time in America, Ireland is always there for me and there’s a big thing going on in the U.K. at the moment so I think the next few years for me can certainly go a long way in helping me live out dreams that I’ve had since I was a young boy.”


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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years