Boxing

Michael Conlan Explains The Rationale Behind Upcoming Olympic Rematch

Michael Conlan Explains The Rationale Behind Upcoming Olympic Rematch

Michael Conlan's loss to Vladimir Nikitin in Rio in 2016 was one of the most infamous moments in Ireland's Olympic history, but the Irishman will have the chance to put things right this summer.

He will face the Russian once again in August, this time in the professional ranks. Their last meeting came during that fight in Brazil, where Conlan was robbed of a second Olympic medal due to some extremely questionable judging.

That loss would ultimately push the fighter to the pro ranks, where he has since thrived. Conlan is 11-0 as a professional, and is now set to came face to face with his old foe once more.

Some have questioned the rationale behind the fight, considering that Nikitin has struggled somewhat in his three professional fights despite his undefeated record.

Speaking to Irish-boxing.com, Conlan said that while there may be a gap in quality between the pair, this is a fight he had to take.

Advertisement

Listen, career-wise, it probably would have been smarter for me to go with someone else. But for personal reasons, it overrode everything else for me, I need to get this one out of the way.

Maybe I am too far ahead of him, I’ve had eleven fights, he’s had three, but it’s the storyline and it sells.

People talk about the fight not being big enough for the magnitude of the event but it’s the storyline behind it. Storylines sell and this sells to the casual fans not just boxing fans – and maybe it doesn’t sell to some boxing fans.

The personal feelings behind this and the grudge behind it, the general public who watch all want to see it. The only other fight that would sell, other than this, is a world title fight.

Despite the Russian's middling start to life as a pro, Conlan believes this still has the potential to be a decent fight.

He’s a live opponent. In terms of a quality opponent, he’d be up there with a lot of people. He is still a quality opponent.

There’s a lot he hasn’t shown. I don’t he’s been the same guy since I beat him… well, since he got the decision, I don’t think he’s been the same dude. His performances haven’t been the same.

He’s not coming for no paycheque. He believes he won in Rio 2016. He’s coming here with intent.

SEE ALSO: 'I Am Not Really Concerned About What Other People Are Saying'

Gary Connaughton

You may also like