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Conlan finally set for Rio 2016 revenge chance with Nikitin showdown confirmed for NYC

It’s back on – the long-awaited reunion takes place on 14 December at Madison Square Garden.

Conlan and Nikitin after their fight at Rio 2016.
Conlan and Nikitin after their fight at Rio 2016.

AFTER THEIR LONG-AWAITED rematch was put on ice earlier this year, Michael Conlan is set for his revenge chance against Vladimir Nikitin, the Russian who ‘beat’ him at Rio 2016.

The Belfast boxer [12-0, 7KOs] announced late last night that the pair will face off at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Saturday, 14 December. 

The Irish and Russian 2016 Olympians were due to square off as professionals in Conlon’s hometown of Belfast in August, as part of Féile an Phobail at Falls Park, but Nikitin withdrew due to injury.

In his absence, 27-year-old Conlan produced a knockout win over Argentinian veteran Diego Alberto Ruiz as he went 12-0 at a sold-out Falls Park.

The December reunion in NYC comes in a triple header headlined by Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford, who will be defending his WBO welterweight title against Lithuanian Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

Elsewhere, Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez will go head-to-head.

Conlan and Nikitn’s showdown comes three years after their infamous quarter-final bout at Rio 2016, which saw the Russian’s arm raised in scandalous circumstances. Obviously now, this is a revenge chance for Conlan but also a shot at vindication for Nikitin.

Finally it’s time to put this fight to bed,” the Irishman tweeted last night. “I just hope turns up this time #Redemption.

“I’m beyond excited to fight for the sixth time in my favorite venue in the world, the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden,” he told Top Rank.

“The boxing fans in New York City have been incredibly supportive of my career, and I look forward to putting on another great show for them, as well as my Irish fans coming over for this massive holiday event.

michael-conlan-looses-to-vladimir-nikitin Conlan and Nikitin.

“Vladimir Nikitin and I have unfinished business from the 2016 Olympics, and I can’t wait until December 14 to set the record straight.”

His promoter Bob Arum echoed his fighter’s words: “Mick Conlan has been asking for Nikitin since the day he signed with Top Rank. He finally gets his wish, and I know he wants to correct the tremendous injustice of the Rio Olympics.”

But, Nikitin noted: “Michael Conlan has done a lot of talking about me and our Olympic fight over the last few years. The talking finally ends December 14. He’s bitter over our last fight and can’t accept the result. Well, my hand will be raised once again.

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Emma Duffy

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