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Rio Olympics: Michael Conlan opponent Vladimir Nikitin pulls out of semi-final

Russian bantamweight Vladimir Nikitin defeated Michael Conlan in highly controversial circumstances in Tuesday's Olympic quarter-final but will not fight for a place in the final in Rio, according to reports.

Nikitin had been scheduled to take on America's Shakur Stevenson in the semi-finals on Thursday but will not fight due to injuries sustained in his opening two wins, including his unanimous victory over the Belfast boxer.

Team USA coach Billy Walsh told StiffJab.com that Stevenson will receive a walkover. Walsh said Nikitin pulled out of Thursday’s semifinal because “his face was a mess” according to Russian coaches.

This means that Nikitin will take home a bronze medal with Stevenson advancing to the gold medal bout with either Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana of Cuba or Uzbekistan's Murodjon Akhmadaliev on Saturday evening.

Nikitin has until Thursday morning's weigh-ins until he must inform the AIBA whether or not he will be taking to the ring.

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