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Dublin: 1°C Friday 7 May 2021

Michael Conlan set for outdoor summer fight in Belfast

The former Irish Olympian could face his Rio 2016 ‘conqueror’, Vladimir Nikitin, in August.

Michael Conlan celebrates victory in his last outing at Madison Square Garden.
Michael Conlan celebrates victory in his last outing at Madison Square Garden.
Image: Emily Harney/INPHO

TWO-TIME IRISH OLYMPIAN and London 2012 bronze medallist Michael Conlan will fight at an outdoor arena in his native Belfast as part of the Féile an Phobail in August.

Conlan [11-0, 6KOs] will top an open-air card at Falls Park in the western half of the city on either the weekend of 2/3 August or 9/10 August, with an exact date and an opponent expected to be confirmed next week.

One prospective foe long-mooted for what will be Conlan’s second professional bout at home is Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin [3-0], who eliminated Conlan from the Rio Olympics in highly contentious circumstances. The Russian is a promotional stablemate of Conlan’s having signed with Top Rank last year with a view to creating the grudge sequel in the punch-for-pay ranks.

Féile has taken place in Belfast since 1988, and four years ago featured pro boxing by way of Féile Fight Night which was headlined by Conlan’s close friend Tommy McCarthy.

Conlan would go on to win World Championships gold later that same year before turning professional following his acrimonious departure from Rio before the medal stages.

The 27-year-old has won his first 11 pro fights and is currently ranked seventh in the world at featherweight by the WBO, although he is also understood to be considering a move back down to super-bantamweight in pursuit of world honours.

In his most recent outing, Conlan shut out Mexico’s Ruben Garcia Hernandez over 10 rounds in what has become his traditional St Patrick’s weekend outing in The Theater at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

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