Michael Conlan will finally get the opportunity to take revenge on his unceremonious end to his 2016 Olympic run.
The undefeated Irish prospect will face former Olympic rival Vladimir Nikitin on August 3 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The setting for the fight will be different from Conlan's past fights as he will fight Nikitin outdoors at Falls Park during the annual Féile an Phobail festival. The fight will be streamed on ESPN+ in the United States.
The two boxers will meet inside the ring for the first time since the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro where Nikitin scored a highly controversial decision win over Conlan in the quarterfinals, eliminating Conlan from the competition. The fight resulted in one of the more memorable moments of the Olympics that year in boxing when Conlan flipped both middle fingers at the judges in protest to the decision.
Conlan has quickly shaken off the loss to Nikitin and has already emerged as a rising contender at featherweight. After just 11 fights in the pro ranks, Conlan is already placed in the top seven in both the WBA and WBO rankings. The 27-year-old Conlan won the WBO Intercontinental title last December in Manchester, England, when he won a lopsided 10-round unanimous decision against Jason Cunningham. Conlan last fought on St. Patrick's Day this past March when he defeated Ruben Garcia Hernandez by unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden.
Nikitin would end up winning the bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics, but wouldn't emerge out of the amateurs and into the pro ranks until August 2018. Nikitin has only fought three times in the pros, winning every fight by unanimous decision. The 29-year-old Nikitin last competed on that St. Patrick's Day card that Conlan competed in, defeating Juan Tapia by majority decision.