Rio Revenge – Mick Conlan planning 15,000-people summer Belfast show

The hype at present surrounds Mick Conlan‘s annual New York St Patrick’s Day show but, according to the fighter himself, his big 2019 fight will play out at home in August.

With support from Paddy Barnes and Lee Reeves Conlan, will paint the Madison Square Garden Theater green for the third year running on Sunday March 17th when he faces Ruben Garcia Hernandez [24(10)-3(1)-2] of Mexico over ten rounds.

It’s another big stage and another big event, but Conlan confirms the real big one for him will happen in Belfast during the summer months.

There has been talk since his homecoming at the SSE Odyssey Arena last year that the former amateur world champion will top another bill at home in 2019.

The Féile an Phobail at the Falls Park in West Belfast was highlighted as a potential venue for a grudge match with fellow Top Rank fighter and the man that got the infamous decision over Conlan at the Rio Olympics, Vladimir Nikitin.

While nothing has been confirmed, the the fighter himself has revealed he will fight at home for the second time in his pro career this summer and believes he will fight at a festival that takes place on his door step.

The Russian Conlan is desperate to beat hasn’t yet agreed to the fight, but it’s assumed that the bout will be easily made – with Top Rank signing Nikitin for that express purpose.

“This year is going to be a huge one for me in terms of fighting back at home,” Conlan told the TalkBox Podcast.

“I am going to be fighting at my Irish festival back home and it’s huge. It’s 15,000 people at the door and the potential opponent at the minute is the Russian, who notoriously got the decision over me at the Olympics, so that’s the big one for me this year,” he continued.

Again, the date remains to be confirmed and both Conlan and Nikitin need to get through their St Patrick’s Day bouts first.

The logistics of the event, too, raise questions – with the needs of an event for 15,000 far outstripping that of the Féile Fight Night under the marquee back in 2015.

However, Conlan seems clear and convinced that boxing will be returning to the Falls Park and it is encouraging to hear.

Listen to this week’s episode of Talkbox in full below:


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Jonny Stapleton 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: