Vladimir Nikitin Revenge the priority for Mick Conlan

Mick Conlan [9(6)-0] says he can’t even begin to dream about a world title fight until he has righted the Vladimir Nikitin wrong.

The Belfast fighter’s Olympic gold dream turned into a Rio nightmare when the Russian was astonishingly awarded victory in the pair’s quarter-final.

Conlan’s reaction to the result has since become a thing of Irish sporting legend – as has the fact Nikitin was in no state to fight in the semi final such was the beating he took.

Conlan, who fights Jason Cunningham on the Warrington-Frampton undercard in Manchester on December 22nd, has been handed a chance of revenge as the ‘Toxic’ Nikitin [2(0)-0] has joined him on the Top Rank books and the Irishman suggests he can’t look beyond getting his own back.

“I really want to face him and I don’t think I can focus on any other champions and fighters until I avenge this loss,” he told WorldBoxingNews before claiming it’s nothing personal.

“I have no ill-feeling towards Nikitin. But I have ill-feeling towards that result and the stain on my career. Even though it was a springboard into the professional game for me.”

“The defeat acted as a good platform for me, so that’s how I look at it. But the result will always be there in the history books.”

“It will always say that I lost in an Olympic quarterfinal to Vladimir Nikitin, it won’t say that it was a questionable decision, so that’s what I want to rewrite.”

The pair are certain to meet at some stage in 2019.

St Patrick’s Day in New York has been mentioned, but the current front-runner looks to be in Belfast in August – potential during the Féile an Phobail in the Falls Park.

Either way, Conlan promises that the judges won’t have a say this time around.

“It won’t go to the judges this time. I actually don’t believe it would last six rounds,” predicted the 27-year-old.

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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