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Michael Conlan avenges Rio def...
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Michael Conlan avenges Rio defeat of Vladimir Nikitin

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

11:36 15 Dec 2019

Michael Conlan has avenged his controvesial Rio Olympics defeat by Vladimir Nikitin with a comprehensive points win at Madison Square Gardens.

The Belfast Boxer provided one of the Off The Ball moments of the decade with his furious reaction to the loss in Rio, which ultimately led to all of the judges at the Rio games being suspended.

There was no need for any such reaction this time around and said afterwards he was keen to move on: “Now we can put this chapter of my career behind me”.

It was a straightforward affair for Conlan to win on points and maintain his professional record that now reads 13 and 0 after going the full 10 rounds.

The Belfast featherweight extended his unbeaten professional record and in doing so retained his WBO Intercontinental title.

The judges scored the fight in various degrees of superiority, 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92.

Pressure

“It was a lot of pressure going into this fight,” Micheal Conlan said following the bout.

“I feel like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. But it’s nice to get it done.

“On that performance, it wasn’t as clean as I wanted. Vladimir actually came out with different tactics and tried to box. It took me a while to find a rhythm but I found it, it was cool and easy.

“Maybe I stayed in a comfort zone too long instead of pushing it. You could see when I wanted to trade I could do it better than him but the game is all about longevity.

“I’ve always said I’ve no ill-feeling towards Vladimir. Nothing was personal. I just needed to get that one back.

"That fight could have been very emotional because of what happened and what it caused for me. I just had to remain calm. We worked on that in training camp and it worked tonight.”

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