Outdoors in Belfast a possibility for Mick Conlan v Vladimir Nikitin pro rematch


Michael Conlan [8(5)-0] could get Rio revenge his in back garden.

The Belfast featherweight fights for the first time since his massive homecoming win over former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos during the summer on October 20th in Las Vegas.

Jose Osorio is next on the agenda and a December fight in New York is already in the pipeline.

However, the 26-year-old has revealed that talks to face fellow Top Rank fighter Vladimir Nikitin – who so controversially defeated him in the 2016 Olympics – are already underway.

Nikitin was snapped up by Top Rank this year and, while he remains a quality fighter with potential, the moves was made with the sole intention of providing Conlan with a high-profile opportunity for revenge.

While a St Patrick’s Day clash at Madison Square Garden was the initial front-runner for the rematch, it now looks as though the fight may play out in Belfast.

The pro return looked the perfect fit for what has become Conlan’s annual New York fight night – and that remains an option – but the Falls Road featherweight claims a summer showdown with Nikitin [1(0)-0] in his home city is also an option.

Indeed, Conlan may get the chance to right the Rio wrong against the Russian within a stones throw of his childhood home.

The top prospect, who is now managed by his older brother and recent world title challenger Jamie, would like to replace Olly Murrs as the headline act of the Féile an Phobail.

Pat Magee ran a big fight night as part of the annual August event back in 2015, with Tommy McCarthy headlining in a big step up versus Courtney Fry.

Future festival fight cards had been mooted but, as of yet, none have materialised – although Conlan hopes to change that next summer.

The 2015 World Amateur champion told Seconds Out that “Ireland or Madison Square Garden is the talk at the minute.”

“Next year, hopefully, in Ireland we’re going to have a big outdoor arena fight for me in the Féile, which is an Irish festival.

“There will be over 10,000 people there. To have that be in my local festival at the Falls Park, which is basically my back garden, it would be fantastic. There’s talk already of fighting Nikitin in there.”

The card topped by McCarthy played out in the tent and did generate massive interest in the community but a Conlan fight in the Falls Park could prove massive.

Indeed Conlan suggesting it could be outdoors, it appears he now may follow the lead of Carl Frampton and take boxing in Belfast to the open air.

Watch Mick Conlan’s interview with Seconds Out in full below:

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