Revenge is a dish best served after a few more months in the freezer, apparently.
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reports that Russian Olympian Vladimir Nikitin has been pulled from his August 3rd grudge match with Michael Conlan. Conlan will remain in the Belfast main event against a replacement foe while Nikitin undergoes surgery for a torn bicep.
Top Rank did a decent job of finding Shakur Stevenson a credible opponent on short notice recently, so there’s every chance Conlan (11-0, 6 KO), who sits in the WBA and WBO top 10s, still winds up in a competitive matchup. Nikitin (3-0, 0 KO) hasn’t been particularly eye-catching as a pro, so this fight was pretty much cruising on the revenge angle from Nikitin’s controversial decision victory in Rio.
The card still features a bevy of Irish talent, including Alfredo Meli (16-0-1, 5 KO), Sean McComb (7-0, 4 KO), Paddy Barnes (5-2, 1 KO), and Poddy McCrory (8-0, 3 KO). There’s also a possibility that freshly signed Paddy Donovan will make his professional debut that night. With Nikitin’s exit, Meli is currently the only one of the lot to have an opponent.