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15th Dec 2019

Three years later, Michael Conlan rights Rio wrong

Darragh Murphy

Michael Conlan

Michael Conlan was made to wait to exact his vengeance on former foe, Vladimir Nikitin.

Michael Conlan infamously missed out on the chance to fight for a medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro when the judges awarded his opponent, Nikitin, a contentious victory at the quarter-final stage.

Conlan’s defeat sparked one of the most unforgettable scenes in Olympic boxing history as the Belfast fighter responded to the result with a foul-mouthed tirade aimed at the judges, the Olympics and amateur boxing in general.

Three years later and boasting an undefeated professional record, Conlan got his revenge.

In some very clever matchmaking from Top Rank, Conlan was pitted against Nikitin in the professional realm for a grudge match on Saturday night and the Irishman came out on top in some style.

Conlan dominated proceedings from start to finish and successfully defended his WBO Intercontinental title by a wide scoreline of 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92 in New York City.

“It was a lot of pressure going into that fight, but it’s nice to get it done. I just needed to get that one back,” said Conlan.

“I needed to right this wrong. Full credit to Nikitin, who fought his heart out.

“There’s no bad blood. There never was. Now, we can put this chapter of my career behind me.”

Next up for Conlan is likely a world title shot, which could take place in his native Belfast.