Nikitin Injured; Michael Conlan to face new ‘tougher opponent’
Michael Conlan will take on a new foe on the historic #MTKFightNight at Féile an Phobail in Falls Park on August 3.
News of the withdrawal of Russian rival Vladimir Nikitin, who has torn a bicep, broke on Thursday night but far from taking an easy alternative, Belfast hero Conlan will take a bigger step up in front of #TheConlanRevolution fans.
MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator and brother of Michael, Jamie Conlan said: “These things happen in boxing and we’ll now be looking to bring in an opponent that’ll be a harder fight than Nikitin would have been.
“In some ways, Nikitin was a step back in terms of level and we all know it’s a match-up based on sentimentality. Instead, we’ll now seek a fight that will push Mick up the rankings quicker. It’ll be the hardest fight of his career.
“We are already in discussions with some high-class opponents to step up to the plate and we’ll be bringing the public news on that – along with further attractive match-ups on the bill – as soon as we can, so stay tuned.”
Some of the cream of Irish boxing is already confirmed for the unique event with the likes of Paddy Barnes, Sean McComb, Alfredo Meli vs. Araik Marutjan, Padraig McCrory, Callum Bradley, Seanie Duffy and Dee Sullivan all set to star.
Feared & unbeaten McKinson has next title shot
Feared welterweight Michael McKinson will look to add the WBO European crown to his WBC straps when he takes on Evgeny Pavko.
Undefeated McKinson (16-0, 2 KOs) will clash with hard-hitting Russian Pavko (18-2-1, 13 KOs) on the #MTKFightNight at the Brentwood Centre on July 20 – live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV.
Having been unable to entice the big domestic names at 147lb to step in the ring with him, McKinson is delighted to be graduating to European level having already won WBC Youth and WBC International Silver honours.
McKinson said: “This is a good bout. Nobody in Britain wanted to fight me so we’ve had to go the harder route and take on a dangerous Russian.
“I’ve always said I’ll fight anyone and while Pavko is a dangerous opponent, I believe in my ability and I’m going to show everyone – once again – that I’m not here to play games.
“I wouldn’t be a good fighter or a good champion if I had easy fights. I actually prefer these tough challenges so I’m excited by this.
“It’s about time I had a third belt to add to my collection. I’ve defended the WBC International Silver twice now against proper opponents so I wanted a new challenge and MTK Global has delivered.”
McKinson’s last performance was a 10-round schooling of the heavy-handed Ryan Kelly at the same venue back in March.
Joining McKinson vs. Pavko on one of the biggest bills Essex has seen in recent times is the WBC world title final eliminator between Chantelle Cameron and Anisha Basheel, the Southern Area welterweight title clash between Shaquille Day and Louis Adolphe plus the likes of Danny Dignum, Jay Whelan and more on the undercard.