ACCORDING to the script, Michael Conlan was supposed to fight Vladimir Nikitin this Saturday (August 3) at Falls Park, Belfast, the idea being that he would gain revenge for the farcical decision he lost to the Russian at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Instead, just as he was robbed in Rio, Conlan has been robbed of his shot at redemption following the withdrawal of Nikitin due to a bicep injury. He must now console himself with a 10-rounder against Argentina’s Diego Alberto Ruiz.
As far as replacements go, Ruiz is a solid enough opponent whose pro record makes for better reading than Nikitin’s even if the overall story is no longer quite so compelling. He has lost just two of 23 professional fights, both early six-rounders (one of which ended in a disqualification), and is undefeated in his last 10.