Madison Square Garden, December 14th. No better place for Michael Conlan to finally put to bed the injustice of the Rio Olympics three years ago by facing off once again with Russian Vladimir Nikitin.
It's the biggest fight yet as a professional, with the fight being billed as the third biggest fight on the card, which will be headlined by Terence “Bud” Crawford defending his WBO welterweight world title against undefeated mandatory challenger Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas. The Belfast man's fight will be one of three broadcast to a huge American audience on ESPN.
It's a clever move from Top Rank. The rematch from the 2016 Olympics gives the fight with Nikitin a natural selling point. for a Conlan fight with such big billing. His promoter Bob Arum says this is the fight Conlan has wanted since 2016.
Mick Conlan has been asking for Nikitin since the day he signed with Top Rank. He finally gets his wish, and I know he wants to correct the tremendous injustice of the Rio Olympics.
The 2012 bronze medalist was favourite for gold before he lost a decision against Nikitin in Rio, in what was widely regarded as a massive injustice. Conlan's notoriety in the sporting world came from this decision and his reaction at the time, which was more than a little angry.
Conlan was originally meant to fight Nikitin in Belfast last month but the Russian pulled out due to injury.
Conlan is 12-0 as a professional, last stopping Diego Alberto Ruiz on that Belfast card in August. While he has been based in New York as a pro, it'll be his second appearance at the main MSG venue, having beaten Ibon Larrinaga there last May.
Nikitin is also unbeaten in his three fights as a pro.