Michael Conlan looks to right a wrong in Belfast on August 3

Michael Conlan will have the chance to put the record straight when he faces Vladimir Nikitin at Belfast’s Féile an Phobail festival on August 3.

Michael Conlan with CEO of Top Rank Bob Arum during a press conference at Balmoral Hotel in Belfast
Michael Conlan with CEO of Top Rank Bob Arum during a press conference at Balmoral Hotel in Belfast

WBO Inter-Continental champion Conlan is still smarting from the highly-contentious loss to Russia’s Nikitin at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Their rematch will be part of Féile an Phobail in west Belfast.

And Conlan says it is a dream come true to be fighting in his own backyard.

“I am delighted that I will be fighting Nikitin in front of 8,000 fans in the Falls Park on August 3.

“This is literally home turf for me and it is absolutely huge. I am West Belfast and Falls Road born and bred so this means everything to me.

“I said last year that I would love to headline a massive outdoor fight night in the Falls Park and Féile an Phobail, MTK Global and Top Rank Boxing have delivered big time.

“I want to give the people of Belfast a night to remember forever on August 3. This is going to be epic.”

Top Rank Boxing Chairman Bob Arum said: “This is the opportunity for Mick Conlan to put right what most observers felt was an injustice.

“That being said, Nikitin is a real aggressive fighter, and he believes that a victory over Conlan in August would cement the one he was given in the Rio Olympics.”

Nikitin has won all three of his fights since turning professional, and he’s relishing the chance to share the ring with Conlan again.

“When I turned professional last year, the man I wanted to fight most was Michael Conlan. Michael has said a lot of things since the Olympics about how he was robbed of a medal.

“Well, I am coming to his hometown during their biggest festival to show everyone my Olympic victory was not a fluke. This is going to be repeat, not revenge.

“Conlan will regret pushing for this fight. I beat him twice in the amateurs and will do the same as a pro. It will feel even sweeter to beat him in his hometown. Belfast here I come!”

MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator Jamie Conlan added: “This is the fight that Michael has been waiting for. It will be an incredible occasion

“The fight with Nikitin has been talked about for a long time now and MTK Global and Top Rank Boxing have worked extremely hard along with Féile an Phobail to make it happen.

“Michael Conlan is coming home for one of the biggest fight nights Belfast will have ever seen. Details of the undercard will be made public in the next two weeks. Belfast is the city to be in on the weekend of August 3 this year.”