Michael Conlan has confirmed that there are “talks” for him to fight Vladimir Nikitin, the man who defeated him at the Rio Olympics, in a rematch in either “Ireland or Madison Square Garden”
Conlan has been pining for a rematch against Nikitin following the now infamous quarter-final bout at the Rio Olympics in 2016. After four rounds of domination from Conlan, the judges somehow gave the decision to Nikitin who was so badly beaten that he could not continue onto the semi-finals.
The Belfast fighter then went on an explosive rant, calling out the integrity of amateur boxing quite clearly enraged by the decision.
Conlan, however, has bounced back excellently from the Rio disappointment, amassing a record of 8-0 in the pro ranks and now he has his sights set on Nikitin.
The Russian fighter is signed with Top Rank, meaning that a rematch is very possible and Conlan confirmed to Seconds Out that the bout may indeed be close and that it may take place in an ideal location for Conlan.
“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 Feile, 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 fight with Nikitin would be massive should it take place in Conlan’s hometown although most fight fans would probably take the bout anywhere at this stage, such is the hype surrounding it.
It’s also clear that Conlan’s Olympic “conquerer” is also very keen on the rematch.
Speaking to the media in his pro-debut’s direct aftermath, Nikitin made it clear that he has his sights set on Conlan.
“This was my first professional fight, but it was also my first fight in a year.
“I took a long break from boxing, just relaxing for a whole year, and that is why this was a great experience for me.
“I was in control and dropped my opponent a couple of times, but we went the distance.
“I want Conlan.
“That is the plan, and he is the main reason why I signed with Top Rank. I want to fight him as a pro. The judges won’t be necessary this time around.”