Michael Conlan has the opportunity to exact revenge on former amateur rival Vladimir Nikitin when the two meet on the undercard of Terence Crawford’s World title defence against Egidijus Kavaliauskas at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday night.
The Irishman has accrued a perfect record of 12-0 as a professional, headlining on multiple occasions Stateside as well as his native Belfast.
Nikitin, by contrast, has recorded three victories in a relatively short career; therefore, the fight against Conlan represents a huge opportunity for the Russian to leapfrog many of his counterparts in the featherweight division.
Although he has been keen to stress that he does not harbour any ill-will towards Nikitin personally, Conlan will be determined to right the wrongs of three years ago after suffering a highly contentious quarter-final defeat to Nikitin at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Ultimately, it is reasonable to believe that the Conlan rematch has come too early for Nikitin in the paid ranks. Expect the Belfast native’s resolve to reflect in his in-ring performance as he utilises his superior professional experience to register a comprehensive points win before pursuing his first world title bout.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________