World Title fight targeted for Mick Conlan v Vladimir Nikitin Féile Undercard

Mick Conlan‘s Féile fight night won’t be a card which depends solely on its main event.

The Belfast featherweight faces controversial Olympic rival Vladimir Nikitin at the Falls Park on Saturday August 3rd seeking Rio revenge.

Anywhere from eight to ten-thousand fans will pack into a purpose-built outdoor arena on the opening weekend of the massive community festival.

Such is the casual-friendly narrative to the fight, not to mention the popularity of Conlan, tickets are projected to go quickly.

However, despite having something of a banker of a main event, Conlan’s promoter Top Rank and manager and older brother Jamie are keen to put on a strong card.

Indeed, it is hoped that a World Title fight will feature on the undercard in West Belfast. understands that enquiries have been made about WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete, with a view to the Mexican making a voluntary defence versus Derry’s Tyrone McCullagh.

24-year-old Navarette [27(23)-1(0)] is co-promoted by Top Rank and Zanfer – and if the Mexican outfit can be convinced to come to Ireland at a reasonable price there is a strong chance that the match-up could happen this August.

McCullagh [13(6)-0] is currently ranked #13 with the organisation but is expected to move up in the next update of the Top 15 following his first defence of the WBO European rankings belt versus Spanish champion Alvaro Rodriguez earlier this month in Newcastle.

navarrete mccullagh

Navarrete would be a massive step-up for 28-year-old McCullagh. ‘Vaquero’ defended his belt for the first time last weekend with a final-round rematch stoppage of Isaac Dogboe in Arizona.

Whether he would be keen to cross the Atlantic remains to be seen and it is believed that there is still some way to go in terms of a financial consensus.

Such a match-up would also be dependant on the mandatory situation. Currently next in line is Filipino Albert Pagara – a one-time mooted opponent of Carl Frampton – but this fight has yet to be officially ordered.


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: